The Elon University Center for Environmental Studies along with The Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership are pleased to offer a Sustainable Business Panel event highlighting contributing the authors of the recently published book, “Small Stories, Big Changes.”

The public is invited to attend this free event on Monday night, April 14th starting at 7pm at the McMichael Building in Room 115.

The Sustainable Business Panel is estimated to last approximately 1 hour with a reception hosted by the Environmental Science Student Honor Society beginning immediately afterward in Room 117. Light refreshments will be served.

What is “Small Stories, Big Changes” all about?

“Small Stories, Big Changes” — Small Stories, Big Changes is a book written by ordinary people doing extraordinary things; whose lives have been transformed by their willingness to commit themselves unreservedly to the creation of a better world. Empowering, hopeful and inspiring, this rich tapestry of voices from the vanguard of societal change is a must-read for anyone dreaming of a brighter future and seeking a counterbalance to a canon of work that is laced with doom and gloom

Panelists for this event include: Gary Phillips, Megan Toben, Lyle Estill and Eric Henry.

Meet the Panelists

Gary Phillips, “All Around Activist”
Gary Phillips is a writer, naturalist and entrepreneur. He has a special interest and expertise in conservation easements and other land-protective strategies. Gary co-founded Weaver Street Realty over a quarter of a century ago. He lives in a rammed earth house with his wife Ilana Dubester in Silk Hope, North Carolina. Gary avidly reads poetry and anthropological science fiction, studies amphibian activities on full moon nights and was once chair of the Chatham County Board of Commissioners.

Gary is active with many non-profit organizations and currently serves on the board of the The Abundance Foundation, The Dogwood Alliance and Family Violence and Rape Crisis Services.

Megan Toben, “Pickards Mountain Eco Institute”
Megan, along with her husband, created Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute out of her love for the Earth Community. The institute aims to demonstrate how living a life of limited consumption and energy use is not only feasible but ideal: “The larger inspiration for the two of us is to address the environmental crisis … in practical ways as well as philosophical ways,” Megan says.

The farm is a place where Megan and her staff and volunteers try to find everyday ways to deal with some of the world’s biggest issues – such as what she calls the food, water, ecological and health crises. “We’ll have some major problems on our hands,” she says. “So we try to address those problems here by looking for other ways we can make energy, other ways we can fuel our vehicles and grow our food – more locally.” Megan discovered the farm – and Tim – as an intern at the Whitsett farm during her time as a biology student at Elon University. She graduated from Elon in ’02 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology.

Elaine Chiosso, “She Speaks for the River”
Elaine Chiosso has been the Executive Director of the Haw River Assembly since 1997, and also the Haw Riverkeeper, working to protect the Haw River watershed, including Jordan Lake and the tributary creeks. She serves as an advocate for clean water and provides resources and knowledge to empower people and communities to be effective guardians of the river. She speaks as a voice for the river in the public arena; and uses the tools of the Clean Water Act and other laws to stop polluters.

The Haw River Assembly is a member organization of the NC Environmental Justice Network and works with local communities on issues of environmental inequities.  Elaine also leads the campaign for Waterkeepers Carolina to keep fracking and its dangers to water and people out of North Carolina.

Lyle Estill, Editor of “Small Stories, Big Changes”
Lyle Estill was trained as a writer. He published his first short story in 1981, and has been publishing ever since. Although he has written epistles, treatises, poetry, fiction, and essays, he is best known as the publisher of Energy Blog, and for his newspaper columns and books. He is the author of Small is Possible; Life in a Local Economy, and Biodiesel Power; the passion, people, and politics of the next renewable fuel. His third book, Industrial Evolution; Local Solutions for a Low Carbon Future was published in the spring of 2011. In 2013 he assembled Small Stories, Big Changes; Agents of Change on the Frontlines of Sustainability.

Many think of him as a traveling salesman who accidentally became an environmentalist, stumbled into being an activist, and went on to become what some refer to as a “social entrepreneur.” He has founded companies, grown enterprises as an intrapreneur, and has traveled successfully through the business world for several decades.

Eric Henry, “The Journey”
Eric Henry is the President of TS Designs and has been in the screen printing and apparel business for over 30 years. Eric’s duties at TSD range from R&D to Sales & Marketing – and everywhere in between – in order to drive the company’s vision of producing the highest quality and most sustainable printed t-shirts.

Outside of TS Designs, Eric devotes much of his time to furthering the sustainable agenda in various community organizations. He founded the Burlington Biodiesel Co-op in 2001 and has run his car on biodiesel (or straight vegetable oil) for over 250K miles. He is a founding member of Company Shops Market, a co-op grocery in downtown Burlington that reconnects local agriculture to Alamance County. He also serves on the board of NC GreenPower, an organization that purchases and resells renewable energy. See Eric’s LinkedIn Profile to learn more.

Let us know you’re coming!

This is a free event and open to the public. We hope that you will attend and look forward to hearing your questions and comments. Let us know that you’re planning to come. Leave us a message on the Facebook Event Page – and please feel free to share this invitation with your connections!