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Experiential Learning Activities at SB'12

On Monday, June 4, take advantage of three offsite experiential learning opportunities exploring three fascinating and relevant topics at SB '12 – biomimicry, insourcing, and multidisciplinary collaboration. Transportation to and from the conference will be provided at certain times throughout the day.

Collaboration and Innovation in Action: A Balboa Park Walkabout – Balboa Park, 1:30pm

In addition to the San Diego Zoo, San Diego's Balboa Park is home to dozens of museums, performing arts centers, gardens and recreation facilities, and is a hub of attractions for locals and visitors alike. The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a nonprofit organization through which 26 local art, science and cultural institutions work together to achieve greater efficiencies, excellence and innovation than are possible individually, in order to maximize the Balboa Park experience and the value of arts, science, and culture in the community. Monday afternoon's Balboa Park tour will highlight three focus areas that exemplify the collaborative work of the Partnership: the Balboa Park Environmental Sustainability Program, the Balboa Park Learning Institute, and the Balboa Park Online Collaborative. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Jessica Rinaman, Program Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability for the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, works closely with Partnership members and other Park stakeholders to advance solutions that will help protect Park resources, strengthen economic viability and enhance staff and visitor experience. Jessica has also worked on a collaborative project to create climate action plans for seven cities in San Diego County.

Paige Simpson, Interim Executive Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, is also the director of the BPCP's Balboa Park Learning Institute, an innovative organizational development and learning laboratory program for staff and volunteers of arts, science, and cultural institutions.

Biomimicry: Nature's Guide to Sustainability – San Diego Zoo, 8:30am

Biomimicry draws inspiration from nature's systems, processes, and elements to inform product design and organizational and collaborative processes. Join us at 8:30am on Monday morning for a biomimicry workshop at the world-famous San Diego Zoo, the perfect setting for exploring how nature's designs, patterns, structures, and behavior can apply to sustainable products and practices.

Sunni Robertson, Lead Education Guide for San Diego Zoo Global, facilitates introductory biomimicry workshops, field trips and presentations for corporate groups and school children; in January, she also began implementing BioInspiration outreach programs in San Diego County Middle School classrooms.

Insourcing and the US Economic Future: Successful US Manufacturing Establishments Producing Innovative Sustainable Products – Taylor Guitars & Artflor, Inc., 9:30am-3:30pm

At this pre-conference tour, guests are invited to explore two successful US manufacturing facilities, Taylor Guitars and Artflor, Inc., and discover how insourcing has played a key role in these businesses. Guests will discover how these two companies share the mutual goals of eliminating global environmental contamination, reducing carbon emissions from transportation around the globe, and protecting our natural resources. Taylor and Artflor both hold government regulations as a minimum environmental standard, and call for continual research and development for better product and production systems.

At Taylor Guitars, one of the world's leading manufacturers of premium guitars, guests will experience the guitar-making process, from raw wood to finished product. The tour will also cover the company's unique social forestry model, its sustainable and responsible use practices, and the environmentally friendly innovations that have made Taylor a leader in its industry. Guests will have an opportunity to pick up and play a variety of Taylor guitars, and a gourmet lunch, presented by Yapo's Catering, will explore the concept of Food 360, which traces the farm-to-table movement one step further to include composting. 

In the afternoon, the tour will visit Artflor, Inc., a leader in pre-cast architectural concrete. Guests will discover how the company produces countertops, stair treads, tiles, and other solid surface goods, and witness demos of concrete polishing, casting and finishing.

A follow-up panel discussion on Thursday, June 7, with Artflor, Taylor Guitars and SustainU, will focus on business models of environmental and social sensitivity from small- to large-scale business scenarios. A case study of Artflor's recent success in becoming a domestic source for product previously acquired overseas will be explored; and Bob Taylor, President of Taylor Guitars, will discuss the company's latest endeavor in responsible sourcing.

Kristen Victor is Founder of Sustainability Matters, Inc., a trusted source for sustainable building technologies and materials, providing cost effective access to vetted products and practices, promoting transparency and knowledge within the building industry.

Tina Anderson, President of Artflor, Inc., is an industry leader overseeing the development of many techniques used in the decorative concrete industry, and was awarded the Artisan Award for Excellence in Decorative Concrete by Concrete Décor Magazine in 2010.

Charlie Redden, Supply Chain Manager for Taylor Guitars, leads the company's efforts in purchasing, distribution, environmental compliance, logistics and supply chain oversight. His pragmatic approach to partnering with landowners, forestry stewards, and environmental organizations has made Taylor Guitars a leader in responsible forestry management and social reinvestment in many areas of the world from which the company procures wood.

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