Building Sustainable Communities conference hits Kelowna this month

Kevin Fornwald of Spider Agile Technology waters a living wall, one of the movable wall solutions created by the company to improve the office environment. It
Kevin Fornwald of Spider Agile Technology waters a living wall, one of the movable wall solutions created by the company to improve the office environment. It's an example of the ideas to be presented at the Building Sustainable Communities conference in Kelowna Feb. 27 to Mar. 1 with 250 speakers, flexible registration options and fees. Go to: for details.
— image credit: Judie Steeves

If the Building Sustainable Communities Conference is the ideas hub, Kelowna's Spider Agile Technologies is the "in practice" example of what a healthier, more earth-friendly business looks like.

Last week, in a fundraiser for the Fresh Outlook Foundation, the non-profit organization which hosts the conference out of Kelowna each February, those with an interest or even a glimmer of acceptance for the more ecologically (and often economically) friendly route in business got a taste of the upcoming conference and the types of business models it's looking to support and encourage.

"This is an example of what the conference is all about," said Fresh Outlook Foundation founder Joanne de Vries as she stood in the middle of Spider Agile's cafeteria hosting breakfast.

Throwing open their doors for the event, the technology company—now owned by the multi-national DIRRT—offered a glimmer of hope for the life that could be as companies get set to compete for employees  needed to fill baby boomer's chairs.

With green walls filled full of plants to an in-house gym, twice weekly trainer visits and a cafeteria supplying healthy lunches, the web Spider weaves is clearly designed to catch workers' eyes—and keep them. The company itself also tries to make its product ecologically friendly, designing the plug-and-go office set-ups so that everything from the walls to the electrical systems can be reused in another office should the need arise.

This is the fifth year for the Building SustainAble Communities conference, running Feb. 27 to Mar. 1 at the Delta Grand Resort.

In a quirky addition to this year's conference, delegates will be using Lego to strengthen awareness between different industry and government sectors on sustainability problems and solutions.

Registration can still be done online or by coming to the conference a half an hour before a specific session. On site registration is $30 per session.

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