An Odyssey

Chicago is the largest city in the Midwest, making it the third most populous city in the United States. (Source: Wikipedia) In 2010, there are approximately more than 2.8 million people living in this city. This partly reinforces the fact that fifty percent of the world's population, now at 7 billion, live in cities today. Scientists reveal that we are now in the Age of the Anthropocene, where human activities on the ecosphere create significant impact. Population in the next decades is projected to rise putting an increased risk on our natural ecosystems.

This was the theme of the Aspen Environment Forum, to which any city or suburb around the globe, can relate. It was organized by National Geographic and The Aspen Institute.

As a local Chicago architect, I participated in the Forum after being selected by National Geographic and The Aspen Institute as 2010 Aspen Environment Forum Scholar. The opportunity allowed me to "engage with a congregation of some of the world's most prominent thinkers and leaders in the energy and environment fields: policy makers, scholars, journalists, business leaders, academics, activists, artists, and social entrepreneurs".

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Kevin Costner (actor, entrepreneur, Co-founding Partner of Ocean Therapy Solutions & WestPac Resources) discussed his centrifuge device that can separate 210,000 gallons of oil and water per day, at the Aspen Environment Forum. BP has ordered 32 of his machines. (image by Lira Luis)

My sincerest gratitude goes out to these people who have supported a project we're doing to help spread the Environmental message from the Forum to those living in rural communities, living in poverty, and our brothers and sisters in Third World countries:

OfficePort CHI: Michael Edmondson, Co-founder

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Kingspan Insulated Panels: Jaclyn Halliwell - Marketing Coordinator

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Better World Club:
Mitch Rofsky - President/CEO

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Environmental Systems Design, Inc: J. Mark Andersen, Assoc. AIA - VP Information Technology

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Miki Honda

Mika Kondo

Eiko Hamada

Wertel Enterprises, LLC: Scott Wertel, P.E.

John Soter

Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy: Andrew Rosen - Adjunct Faculty, Animation & Visual Effects

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Tom Rubin

Rhonda Robinett

Rob Belzer

Ramona Lewis

Julie Knorr, LEED AP

Organic Food Club: Ed Kugler

Hernan M Hormillosa, LMSW - Psychotherapist/ Photographer NYC

Vic Agbayani

Eric Damon Walters

Participation in the Forum was the first step. Now it's time to spread the message and ideas discussed, to help turn them to relevant action. For those in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries, we are continuing the discussion in our Facebook Page. Join us today.

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