'Affluenza' author to kick off Green Innovations event during Earth Week

David Wann, co-author of the best-selling book Affluenza, and author of Simple Prosperity, will kick off the Green Innovations 2010 symposium, “Realizing Our Sustainable Future,” on April 22 and 23.

Wann’s presentation, “The New Normal: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle,” will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, in the Phoenix Room of the University Union at UW-Green Bay. The presentation is free and open to the public

Affluenza, the book and public television show of the same name, raises questions about America’s overload of debt, stress, and waste resulting from pursuit of more at any cost. Wann shares provocative exploration of the social and environmental cost of materialism and over-consumption and what can be done about it.

Wann is the author of nine books, including Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle, a sequel to Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic, which is now printed in nine languages. In his new book, The New Normal: Tools for an Affordable Civilization, Wann suggests that accomplishing little things won’t be enough to save the planet.

“We need to be political, culture-shifting, on the lookout for how our way of life can be more closely aligned with ‘the real wealth’ and the core values that should be guiding us, if our culture wasn’t broken,” Wann says.

Wann is the co-designer of the co-housing neighborhood of Harmony Village in Golden, Col., where he lives. He has been a college lecturer, and worked more than a decade as a policy analyst for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Green Innovations 2010 is hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Environmental Management and Business Institute (EMBI) during Earth Week. The sustainability symposium is a campus Common Theme event.

The Green Innovations 2010 symposium continues on Friday, April 23, at the Meadows Conference Center, 850 Kepler Drive, Green Bay, with a full day’s events and breakout sessions on sustainability in transportation, wind energy, regional health, regional sustainability and water management.

It will bring together many regional and state leaders who are behind the “green economy.” Among the symposium features:

• Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank is scheduled to offer introductory remarks.

• Keynote presentations: “Embracing the Triple Bottom Line” panel discussion by local business leaders; “Building a Regional Sustainability Vision” by Jeff Rafn, president of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College; “Water Management” by Doug McLaughlin, principal research scientist, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement.

• Networking opportunities with investors, community leaders, business leaders, educators and students.

• Awarding of the new “UW-Green Bay Alumni Earth Caretaker Award.”

Registration deadline for Green Innovations 2010 is Monday, April 19, 2010. A $99 fee includes materials, lunch, breaks and parking. Payment is due at time of registration or online registration is available online or by calling 920-496-2117.

Story by Paul Mee and Sue Bodilly