Tickets Now Available

September 25, 2019

Get your tickets by September 18th

ASL Interpreters available upon request

8:30am - 5:00pm

DeVos Place

Steelcase Ballroom

303 Monroe Ave NW,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Sponsored by



  • We're pleased to offer a limited amount of Rise Up & Drawdown tickets at a significantly discounted rate for people from the community.
  • If all of the Advancing Equity Tickets are reserved, we will create a waitlist. 


  • Add'l Eventbrite fees apply


  • HAPPY HOUR ( must be 21+)
  • Add'l Eventbrite fees apply


  • Add'l Eventbrite fees apply

Drawdown Michigan Grant

Due to generous donors, we are able to cover a part to all of some attendees' tickets who would otherwise be unable attend. Please click the button to the right to apply for the Drawdown Michigan Grant.

Let’s Rise Up & Drawdown Carbon in Michigan

A conference on climate change solutions

On September 25, 2019 the Michigan Community will come together in Grand Rapids to offer local solutions and opportunities for engagement on the important subject of climate change. The stakes have never been higher and will require action at every scale and across every sector.

We’ll begin the day learning from our state and local government leaders who will confirm the direction of our mitten state followed by a keynote presentation from Paul Hawken, who is shifting the larger global conversation on climate change from “doom and gloom” to a sense of opportunity, possibility, and hope for the future.

Next we’ll engage in local solutions.  Would you like to support policy advancement? Perhaps you’d like to advance clean energy? Or maybe you’d like to learn how we can reduce food waste? Increase mass transit?  Build and operate sustainable buildings? There will be something for everyone.

Finally you’ll be encouraged to act locally. The solutions to climate change exist and are economically viable.  Human beings have a history of solving complex problems and we will rise to the challenge.  The cost of inaction is catastrophic and no change is too small. We are in this together and together we will prevail creating a socially just world focused on human health, security and prosperity.

Stay in-the-know with Drawdown Michigan event updates 

Fill out the form below:

drawdown   [ draw-doun ]


A point in time when greenhouse gases in the atmosphere peak and begin to decline.


Adaptation and Resiliency:
Intensifying climate impacts are taking a toll on the Earth, therefore transformative approaches to adaptation are being considered for natural disasters and disease.
Built Environment:
buildings and infrastructure account for a large portion of human energy use. As our cities grow, there is an opportunity for climate solutions in aspects like HVAC systems and other building practices.
Energy Solutions:
40% of annual GHGs come from the powering our world, making it the highest emitting sector. Energy solutions like wind, solar, geothermal, and high efficiency equipment can significantly reduce the burden of the energy sector.
Food waste, consumption, food preparation, and agricultural production are responsible for a major portion of GHG emissions. Food solutions like composting, permaculture, and meatless diets and create significant positive impact.
Land Use
Significant carbon sequestering can be accomplished through the protection of Michigan’s forests and wetlands, as well as the production of perennial timber and biomass crops.
Materials & Waste
The lifecycle of the products and materials that we use today to meet our needs as a society has major impact on our greenhouse gas emissions. More sustainable products and manufacturing methods is a solution to this problem.
Protecting Our Freshwater
Freshwater is essential to life, and we have an abundance here in Michigan. However, due to climate change and human actions, our supply of clean water is dwindling. A solution to this are initiatives to protect our freshwater and more efficient water management.
The transportation sector produces 7 gigatons of CO2e. With solutions like walkable communities, mass transit, and electric vehicles, 14% of world carbon emissions can go down to zero.


Reserve an exhibitor table to highlight your company at the first-ever Rise Up & Drawdown Michigan Conference. To exhibit, please fill out the form by clicking the button to the right.

Navy Paul




Featuring World Renown Keynote Speaker Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is one of the environmental movement’s leading voices, and a pioneering architect of corporate reform with respect to ecological practices.

Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, author and activist who has dedicated his life to environmental sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. He is one of the environmental movement’s leading voices, and a pioneering architect of corporate reform with respect to ecological practices. His work includes founding successful, ecologically conscious businesses, writing about the impacts of commerce on living systems, and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy. Paul is Founder of Project Drawdown, a non-profit dedicated to researching when and how global warming can be reversed. The organization maps and models the scaling of one hundred substantive technological, social, and ecological solutions to global warming. 

Paul has appeared in numerous media including the Today Show, Bill Maher, Larry King, Talk of the Nation, Charlie Rose, and has been profiled or featured in hundreds of articles including the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post, Business Week, Esquire, and US News and World Report. His writings have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Resurgence, New Statesman, Inc, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Mother Jones, Orion, Libération, and other publications. 

Paul authors articles, op-eds, and peer-reviewed papers, and has written eight books including five national bestsellers: The Next Economy (Ballantine 1983), Growing a Business (Simon & Schuster 1987), and The Ecology of Commerce (HarperCollins 1993) Blessed Unrest (Viking, 2007), and Drawdown, The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (Penguin). The Ecology of Commerce was voted as the #1 college text on business and the environment by professors in 67 business schools. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution (Little Brown, September 1999) co-authored with Amory Lovins, has been read and referred to by several heads of state including President Bill Clinton who called it one of the five most important books in the world during his tenure as President. His books have been published in over 50 countries in 30 languages. Growing a Business became the basis of a 17-part PBS series, which he hosted and produced. The program, which explored the challenges and pitfalls of starting and operating socially responsive companies, was shown on television in 115 countries and reached more than 100 million people. Paul co-authored and edited Drawdown in collaboration with its extraordinary research team. He is currently writing Carbon, The Business of Life, to be published by Penguin RandomHouse. 

Paul has founded several companies, starting in the 1960s with Erewhon, one of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He went on in 1979 to co-found Smith & Hawken, the retail and catalog garden company. In 2009 Paul founded OneSun, an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry that is now known as Energy Everywhere.

In 1965, Paul worked with Martin Luther King Jr.’s staff in Selma, Alabama prior to the historic March on Montgomery. As press coordinator, Paul registered members of the press, issued credentials, gave updates and interviews on national radio, and acted as a marshal for the final march. That same year, he worked in New Orleans as a staff photographer for the Congress of Racial Equality, focusing on voter registration drives in Bogalusa, Louisiana and the panhandle of Florida, and photographing the Ku Klux Klan in Meridian, Mississippi, after three civil rights workers were tortured and killed. In Meridian, he was assaulted and seized by Klan members, but escaped due to FBI surveillance and intervention. Paul has spoken, conducted research, and traveled extensively throughout the world, undertaking journeys into insurgent-held territories of Burma to research tropical teak deforestation, as well as a 1999 humanitarian/photojournalistic trek to war-torn Kosovo .

As a speaker, Paul has given keynote addresses to the Liberal Party of Canada, the King of Sweden at his inaugural Environmental Seminar, American Bookseller’s Association, Urban Land Institute, SRI International, Harvard University, Stanford University, the Wharton School, Cornell University, Prime Minister of New Zealand’s Conference on Natural Capitalism, U.S. Department of Commerce, Australian Business Council, Yale University and Yale University Commencement, University of California, Berkeley Commencement, France’s Ministry of Agriculture, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Prince of Wales Conference on Business and the Environment—Cambridge University, Commonwealth Club, Herman Miller, National Wildlife Federation, State of Washington, American Society of Landscape Architects, American Institute of Architects, American Institute of Graphic Arts, American Solar Energy Association, Apple, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Cleveland City Club, Conference Board, U.S. Forest Service, Ontario Hydro, Environment Canada, EPA, and several hundred others. PBS named his 2009 commencement speech at the University of Portland the best commencement speech of the year.

Paul has served on the board of many environmental organizations including Point Foundation (publisher of the Whole Earth Catalogs), Center for Plant Conservation, Conservation International, Trust for Public Land, Friends of the Earth, and National Audubon Society. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including: Green Cross Millennium Award for Individual Environmental Leadership presented by Mikhail Gorbachev in 2003; World Council for Corporate Governance in 2002; Small Business Administration “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 1990; Utne “One Hundred Visionaries who could Change our Lives” in 1995; Western Publications Association “Maggie” award for “Natural Capitalism” as the best Signed Editorial/Essay” in 1997; Creative Visionary Award by the International Society of Industrial Design; Design in Business Award for environmental responsibility by the American Center for Design; Council on Economic Priorities’ 1990 Corporate Conscience Award; Metropolitan Magazine Editorial Award for the 100 best people, products and ideas that shape our lives; the Cine Golden Eagle award in video for the PBS program “Marketing” from Growing a Business; California Institute of Integral Studies Award “For Ongoing Humanitarian Contributions to the Bay Area Communities”; Esquire Magazine award for the best 100 People of a Generation (1984). In 2014 he was named one of the three Pioneers of Sustainability along with Professors Peter Senge and Michael Porter. Paul has received six honorary doctorates. In 2019, the National Council for Science and the Environment granted him a Lifetime Achievement Award on Science, Service, and Leadership.


Drawdown Agenda 1

Printable Agenda

Click to the button to the right to download a printable agenda. 

Drawdown Michigan Steering Committee


Cheri Holman

Executive Director
U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan

Yumiko Jakobcic

Director, Office of Sustainability Practices
Grand Valley State University

Alison Waske Sutter

Sustainable and Performance Management Office, Executive Office
City of Grand Rapids

Sergio Cira-Reyes

Director of Community Engagement
Urban Core Collective

Aaron Ferguson

Climate & Health Adaptation Program Manager
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services

Bill Wood

Executive Director
West Michigan Environmental Action Council (WMEAC)

Carissa Patrone

Equity Program Manager
West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum

Lisa Oliver-King

Executive Director
Our Kitchen Table

Anne Marie Hertl

West Michigan Region Coordinator
Michigan League of Conservation Voters

Guy O. Williams

President & CEO
Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice

Ana Jose, MBA

Program Manager, Transformando West Michigan
West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce


Staying in Grand Rapids

Coming in from out of town? We have reserved a room block at the beautiful, LEED-certified City Flats Hotel for a discounted rate of $160/night 

Book your Reservation by calling 616-608-1720 and mentioning U.S. Green Building Council. 

Brought to you by your Community

(exclusive to nonprofit, government & community organizations)

Supported by your Community

Have Questions? Contact Us.

Email us by clicking the button to the right or call us at 616-691-1243