The #VegasTech community is invited to head to The Innevation Center on Thursday, June 25, 2015 for the June CommunityCation Luncheon. Each month, The Innevation Center hosts the event and provides free lunch to attendees. In June, lunch will be catered by Café Rio.
“We started the CommunityCation Luncheon as a way to invite all of the community to our space, not just our members,” said Alison Gutman, Content Developer at Switch. “It’s always free to attend and we think it’s a great opportunity for the public to interact, network and learn from influential speakers on a variety of topics. Our speakers’ topics have included big data, cloud computing, PR & marketing, cyber security, entrepreneurship and games development, just to name a few. Lunch is served from crowd-pleasing restaurants like Café Rio, Rachel’s Kitchen, Earl of Sandwich and everyone leaves happy and having made a new connection.”
This month, the team at The Innevation Center welcomes Ciara Byrne and the Green Our Planet team.
“Ciara and her team are Innevation superstars,” Gutman said. “They have collaborated with several other Innevators and are making important changes in our community through their work with Clark County School District. Green Our Planet’s story is a really interesting one and we thought the community would benefit from hearing about how they came to be and what they’re achieving. Entrepreneurship, collaboration, STEAM education… Ciara and Green Our Planet demonstrate everything we love here at Innevation!”
Green Our Planet is a conservation crowdfunding platform where anyone can raise money for green projects. People in the community with green ideas can turn their ideas into reality through green crowdfunding. The Green Our Planet team also runs one of the fastest-growing school garden programs in the nation.
“Essentially we are a green Kickstarter except we are non-profit so we are free,” said Ciara Byrne, Co-Executive Director of Green Our Planet. “No 5% fees like on other crowdfunding platforms. We started in Las Vegas in 2013 because we believe that everyone should be empowered to be a conservationist. There are so many green projects people can do in the community if they can raise just a small amount of money.”
Examples of green community projects Bryne gives are changing out the lights in a local school to energy efficient lighting, creating a community compost, developing a solar powered cellphone, or making a film about the environment.
“Our friend Jeff Newburn who was working at Zappos at the time built our entire website,” said Bryne. “Since then we’ve raised money to put solar panels on a homeless shelter in Caron City, raised money to re-forest an area of the Andes in Peru, and we’ve raised over $800,000 to build school gardens in the Clark County School District. So far we’ve built 65 school gardens and will build 10 more this summer. This makes us one of the fastest growing school garden programs in the United States – and that is thanks to a unique type of crowdfunding where a corporate sponsor puts up 50% or more of the cost of the school garden and the school then raises the rest of the money.”
The Green Our Planet team has worked with teachers in the Clark County School District to develop the Outdoor Garden Classroom STEM Curriculum thanks to a grant from the American Honda Foundation.
The Green Our Planet team calls The Innevation Center home. They cite collisions with other “Innevators,” an amazing workspace, and great events and workshops as reasons they chose the space.
“We love The Innevation Center because it has the friendliest, most accommodating staff running it,” Bryne explained. “Their staff actually cares about our success. They really care that our school garden program succeeds and care that we get to ‘green the planet.’ It’s also a cool space to work in with awesome offices, kitchen and great conference rooms where we can have our meetings. We also have made great collisions in the kitchen and in the elevators with other co-workers that have translated into cool projects. Also, Innevation hosts great events and seminars with people from all over the world hosting and sharing great ideas.”
At the June 2015 CommunityCation luncheon, Bryne plans to talk about how the organization got started, the evolution of Green Our Planet, and how when technology is combined with a passion to change the world wonderful things can happen. There will also be a question and answer session with attendees after the presentation.
Members of the community are invited to come by The Innevation Center the last Thursday of every month from 11:30 am to 1 pm. Any changes to the date for this monthly luncheon will be posted on The Innevation Center’s social media accounts @Innevation and on Facebook.