Last year was my first time at the Women in Green Forum and I was incredibly impressed. I had the honor of speaking during a presentation called "Crowdsourcing: Engaging the Community.” I shared about the powerful tools I’ve used in the past to create businesses. Women from all levels and areas of sustainability attended and traveled to the conference from cities across the country.

This year the West Coast version of the conference will take place on Wednesday, August 28th in Los Angeles (there’s also a Forum in Washington DC on September 25th). Hosted by the sustainability consulting company called Three Squares Inc., the one-day conference boasts top-notch speakers, informative panels and dynamic breakout sessions. One of my favorite parts of the conference last year was the “Zumba Break” where everyone participated in a 10 minute Zumba class a few hours after lunch, at the usual time that a conference-goer’s energy dips. This year, attendees have the opportunity to choose two tracks throughout the day: Entrepreneur and Career Professional. The Entrepreneur track is designed for those “who are interested in starting new ventures” and the Career Professional track is designed for “professionals working within corporate, government or nonprofit organizations.”

Participating at the Women in Green Forum last year had a huge impact on my life and has greatly catapulted my career into what it is today. As a result of my presentation, I’m now one of the first team members of evox Television Network, an online television network focused on health, wellness and sustainability.

How I found myself in this role is serendipitous. We at evox call it “an evox moment” since we all came to find each other in miraculous and interesting ways. Another conference attendee, Lorraine LoBianco, is also a part of evox. While we didn’t actually meet at the conference, afterwards she shared with Xav Dubois, the founder, her thoughts on my presentation. Since there are very few Pava’s around, Xav quickly realized that we’d met before as he and my husband, Aaron, are old friends.
A few weeks after my presentation, Aaron received this message from Xav:

“One of my employees was in LA at the Women in Green Conference and just LOVED Nikki and when she shared with me about the conference, I had a thought I'd like to talk to Nikki about."

We are starting a brand new television network called "EVOX." We are a social tv network and we have a retail television component that is focusing on sustainable products and services. We are currently getting show ideas and potential partners, speakers, hosts for our programming line-ups on Google Hangouts Live and our upcoming linear channels. Would you pass my info to Nikki and give her a little context about who I am and see if she and I can have a conversation about EVOX sometime soon.
My employee just raved about Nikki and I was glowing to be able to say that my friend Aaron is her husband!”

As you might imagine, I was extremely excited to have such a great opportunity in my world! Soon after, I joined the blossoming team at the first company retreat, where we spent days connecting and strategizing the company’s future.

For me, attending conferences is a great opportunity to not only learn about current trends in the sustainability area, but it is also a fantastic place to make important career connections (not to mention developing personal connections, as well). I highly encourage everyone to research the conferences in your industry and set aside funds for travel. Also, develop a topic idea focused on another great way to share your expertise with the world - and gain clients in your field. 

Who knows - you might have a fortunate and career-changing experience at a conference like I had at the Women in Green Forum!

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About The Author

Nikki Pava's picture

Nikki Pava is the author of Green Wisdom: A Guide for Anyone to Start, Engage and Energize a Sustainability Team. She is also the founder of Alegria Partners, a consulting firm that specializes in sustainability engagement initiatives for mission-driven companies.

Prior to her work at Alegria Partners, Nikki founded EcoTuesday, a national networking forum that facilitated vital connections and essential change in the business community. EcoTuesday hosted more than 300 events in 12 cities across the country and brought together hundreds of sustainability professionals, making a positive impact in each city.

Nikki holds an MBA in sustainable management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. She lives in an eco-community in Costa Rica and is currently writing a book about teams in businesses that focus on reaching their company’s climate change goals.

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