Hanley Wood and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have announced the speakers for the Opening Plenary of the 2014 Greenbuild Conference and Expo. The Opening Plenary, which takes place at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 22 at the New Orleans Superdome, will feature leading author and environmentalist Paul Hawken; investor, philanthropist, and advanced energy advocate Tom Steyer; and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

Hawken, Steyer and Gov. O’Malley will take the stage to have a discussion about “the dollars and sense of climate change,” and its profound impact on families, communities, the economy and the planet. The trio will examine the progress made and how much remains to be done to address climate change.

The Opening Plenary is included in both the Full Conference pass and the Wednesday Day Pass for the 2014 Greenbuild Conference and Expo. Registration, schedule and event details are available for members of the sustainable building community online at www.greenbuildexpo.com.
Paul Hawken's work includes starting ecological businesses, writing about the impact of commerce on living systems and consulting with heads of state and CEOs on economic development, industrial ecology and environmental policy. He authors articles, opinion columns and peer-reviewed papers, and has written seven books including four national bestsellers. Paul has founded several companies including some of the first natural food companies in the U.S. that relied solely on sustainable agricultural methods. He presently heads OneSun, Inc., an energy company focused on ultra low-cost solar based on green chemistry and biomimicry.

Tom Steyer is an investor, philanthropist and advanced energy advocate. He is also the president of NextGen Climate, an organization that acts politically to prevent climate disaster and preserve American prosperity. Before retiring from the private sector, Tom founded and was the senior managing member of Farallon Capital Management. He also was a managing director and member of the Investment Committee at Hellman & Friedman. Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, joined Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and other high-wealth Americans in the “Giving Pledge,” a promise to donate the majority of their wealth to charitable and nonprofit activities during their lifetimes. Tom and Kat created and funded the Oakland based Beneficial State Bank and Foundation, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities and individuals in California and along the west coast.

Now in his second term, Governor Martin O’Malley has been delivering results for Maryland families by choosing effective actions to create jobs, expand opportunity and make Maryland a safer, healthier place. A committed environmentalist, he has taken strong action to restore the health of the Chesapeake Bay and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland. During his administration, Maryland has become an active participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the nation's first cap-and-trade program designed to reduce carbon pollution from power plants. Gov. O'Malley has led the fight to increase renewable energy production in Maryland and expand energy efficiency opportunities to all Marylanders, resulting in millions of dollars in savings for consumers and businesses. Prior to serving as Governor, O’Malley served as Mayor of the City of Baltimore.