Ecotrust (USA) hosted a public lecture in Portland on March 9 from one of the world’s most-read columnists and author of Hot, Flat and Crowded.
New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman told a packed auditorium at Portland State University that the United States needs to rebuild its economy by making "green" its competitive advantage.
“If Portland can out-green Vancouver," Friedman said, "if Vancouver can out-green Seattle, if Seattle can out-green Minneapolis, that is, produce an environment that's more innovative around green technologies and is a healthier environment, I think it's going to be a source of sustainable competitive advantage. So what I'm about is trying to stimulate those kinds of competitions – I call it the ‘earth race'.”
Before his lecture, Friedman talked with Oregon Gov. Ted Kulogoski, PSU President Wim Wievel and Ecotrust (USA) President Spencer Beebe, who briefed the celebrity-columnist on Oregon’s green initiatives. After the lecture, Ecotrust (USA) held a Q&A session with Friedman featuring some 120 VIPs. The session focused on how the United States can jump-start its stalled and declining economy by focusing on green technologies and innovation.
It was, said Ecotrust spokesman Seth Walker, "a change-making day."