Saturday, November 20, 2010

Meeting Paul Hawken

Paul Hawken brought a chuckle and smile to Greenbuild’s closing plenary yesterday. The USGBC offered attendees a revised version of his book, The Ecology of Commerce. I had the pleasure of meeting Hawken at the book signing after the speech. He penned into one of the front pages, “to Jacquelyn, with my blessings, Paul Hawken.” He has impeccable penmanship and a wonderfully lovable personality. He spoke candidly about his struggle to publish his book – how people often criticized his initial draft as being too dark. He talked about being ostracized after his talks and how he had no idea that the book would ever be this successful. Hawken thanked Ray Anderson for his early support. When Anderson read The Ecology of Commerce in 1994, it was a “spear in his chest,” in 2005, the book was a spear in mine along with Anderson’s Mid Course Correction.

When meeting Hawken, all I could do was shake his hand and thank him profusely for his impact by persevering and publishing The Ecology of Commerce. I wished him well, a picture was taken and off I went. I feel grateful to have had the opportunity to thank such a prominent figure in the field – the speech, exchange and his legacy has been and will continue to be nothing short of inspirational.