Published: Sept. 15, 2003

More than 500 people from 45 countries are registered to attend a multidisciplinary, grassroots conference on sustainable development, technology and use of resources Sept. 29 through Oct. 4 at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The first-of-its-kind gathering, called "Sustainable Resources 2003: Solutions to World Poverty," is co-sponsored by CU-Boulder, the Sustainable Village and Naropa University. Registration is open to anyone interested in issues of sustainability and international development; a portion of the conference also will be open to the general public.

The goal of the conference is to bring together engineers and inventors, entrepreneurs and volunteers, vendors and philanthropists to share practical solutions to world problems ranging from a lack of drinking water to substandard housing.

Two dozen keynote talks by experts in business and economics, energy and technology, education and humanitarian aid will be presented. Keynote presenters include Stanford Ovshinsky, inventor and founder of Energy Conversion Devices; Gunter Pauli, founder and director of the ZERI Foundation; Richard Reoch, president of Shambhala International; Hewlett Packard director Gary Herman; Clive Rainey, Habitat for Humanity's first volunteer; and many others.

Twenty panel sessions and 35 workshops also will be offered in 11 main tracks: Bridging the Digital Divide, Eco-tourism That Works, Feeding the World, Infrastructure and Shelter Alternatives, Learning From Nature and Native Cultures, New Economic Paradigms, Practical Power, Real World Solutions (Case Studies), Reinventing Education for a Sustainable World, Water for Life and Whole Systems Thinking.

The following events are open to the public; tickets are $20 and will be available at the door:

* Tuesday, Sept. 30 - Matthew Fox, spiritual teacher and author, "The Roots of Sustainable Development: Spiritual and Psychological Realization," 7:30 p.m., Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center.

* Wednesday, Oct. 1 - Paolo Lugari, visionary founder of Gaviotas, Columbia, a South American village that has regenerated a rainforest on once barren land, "Gaviotas - Seeing Beauty in Difficulty," 7:30 p.m., Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center.

* Thursday, Oct. 2 - Hunter Lovins, environmentalist, author and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Institute, "Natural Capitalism for a Small Planet," 7:30 p.m., Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center

* Friday, Oct. 3 - Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur and best-selling author, "From Poverty to Prosperity," 7:30 p.m., Glenn Miller Ballroom, University Memorial Center

* Saturday, Oct. 4 - Golden Sun Foundation world culture performance and final exhibit period, 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Balch Fieldhouse.

The exhibition hall in Balch Fieldhouse will showcase more than 120 businesses, nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations that are working in sustainable development. The exhibition will serve as a "collaborative marketplace" where participants can interact, and match their skills and needs. Entry is free and open to the public on Thursday, Oct. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; and Saturday Oct. 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The week's activities will begin with several "pre-conference" workshops Sept. 29 through Oct. 1, providing hands-on instruction in sustainable technologies. Participants will learn how to make low-cost solar greenhouses, lightweight shelters from acrylic concrete, ceramic water filters with colloidal silver, biodiesel fuel from vegetable oil, and cooking briquettes from garden waste. Registration for the pre-conference workshops is separate from main conference registration.

Main conference sessions run Oct. 1 through Oct. 4, and will include additional workshops, keynote presentations, and panel sessions showcasing leading-edge research and successful projects in sustainable development.

"We are thrilled with the response we have had from people around the world to this first grassroots forum on world poverty and sustainable development," said Bernard Amadei, conference coordinator and CU-Boulder professor who founded the nonprofit Engineers Without Borders-USA. "We plan to make this an annual event on the CU-Boulder campus."

For more information and registration, visit or call the conference office at (303) 998-1323 or (888) 317-1600.

Editor's Note: A detailed conference schedule and biographical information on keynote presenters is available online at Call Carol Rowe at (303) 492-7426 to request electronic or printed copies. Reporters and photographers wanting to attend the conference may obtain press passes by e-mailing Erin Geegan in advance at A pressroom will be available during the conference in the Duane Physics building, room G1B25.