Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Biodiesel Coop conference in July

Hi- This just in from Girl Mark- sounds pretty cool...

Several biodiesel advocates and I are organizing a conference this
summer, to focus specifically on biodiesel co-ops- for example: groups
such as homebrew groups, advocacy/education groups, and small
distributors/bulk buy co-ops. SVO 'group' topics are welcome though to
my knowledge it has not been attempted as often as biodiesel group activity.

We're hoping that this conference may make it easier to share
information about what has worked or not worked for biodiesel co-ops-
for instance, homebrewing in groups has proven to be very difficult but
has a lot of potential if done right, and continues to be attractive as
fuel prices climb higher.
Also, many past biodiesel events have focused mostly on the biodiesel
industry or on lobbying/legislative efforts, while there is also a
strong movement toward 'local', non-industry activity across the United
States that now makes biodiesel available in many communities.

Currently we're talking to a university near Denver- if held there, the
conference would be in mid-July, and will include optional dorm housing
(under $30 a night) and cafeteria meals ($21 a day for all meals). We're
hoping to make the actual event admission price inexpensive as well-
event costs should be minimal outside of classroom rental and handouts
printing costs. Denver is cheap to fly to from most other airports, and
there are many 'tourist' attractions nearby at that time of year for
those who would like to travel with their families on vacation. There
are a number of small producers and homebrewers in the Denver/Boulder
area, and they have had several years of experience to share- groups
like Boulder Biodiesel, which formerly had a retail space for commercial
fuel distribution and homebrewing/education, and CU Biodiesel, a campus
group at CU Boulder.

We are proposing the following 'tracks' for conference sessions to fall

a. 'case studies' track in which members of biodiesel co-ops present what their groups do and how it has worked for them

b. a 'technical track/homebrewing groups track', in which groups who homebrew could discuss the production technology/techniques that makes 'homebrewing in co-ops/groups' work efficiently,

c. an 'education track' covering topics specific to biodiesel groups who do public advocacy and education, and

d. a 'distribution track' covering groups who sell or group-purchase commercial biodiesel together.

I am interested in finding people to present 50-minute sessions for
those tracks- you do not have to be an experienced public speaker to
make an impact at this event- we really need to hear about your
real-world experiences in biodiesel groups, and most sessions are likely
to incorporate a lot of 'question and answer' discussion with the
audience . Sessions can be lead by multiple people , for those of you
new to public speaking who would like a little help organizing your
audience. I've been having off-list discussion of this with a number of
biodiesel co-op members for a few months now, and it looks like we
should have quite a few who can make it at that time of year and would
be available to speak. Also, the 'track' structure is very tentative and
open to change if someone comes up with a better idea for structuring
the event differently. If you have a biodiesel community topic you'd
like to cover which falls outside the track structure, please submit it

For discussion of organizing the Localizing Biodiesel event, I have
started a thread for organizers/suggestions:
please post suggestions and ideas there. I'll be posting updates there
and at these Yahoogroups, as they become available.

For those who want to be on a mailing list for updates only without
participating in day-to-day conference planning discussion, I have
started an announcements-only mailing list (no discussion so you aren't
flooded with unwanted email) at . There will be under
5 messages a month with updates about event details, as they become

We will have a web page at soon.

thank you,

1 comment:

Willer said...

INTERESTED! I'll go if I can possibly make it.