Thursday, March 27, 2014

Clean Air Fair Doubles as Green Solutions Competition

Posted By on March 27, 2014, 1:45 PM

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This weekend Utah's first ever Clean Air Fair will be more than just an awareness-raising expo of Utah's grimy sitck-to-your lungs lungs air. Organizations will be on hand offering solutions to help tackle the air quality problem that visitors can then vote on, with the top vote-getter winning financial support to help get their nonprofit or business up and running.---

The Clean Air Fair was the product of a special “Idea Silo” hosted by Salt Lake City nonprofit Revolution United. David Brooks, the founder of Revolution United said that after a clean air rally at the capitol he and others felt like more could be done than just demanding Utah's lackadaisical legislature do something about the issue.

“I wanted to mobilize the organization into doing something that the community actually wanted to do,” Brooks says.

The silo was a brainstorming session that brought average Utahns together to come up with clean air solutions through a unique collaborative process. Brooks says the roughly 30 people in attendance got a briefing about Utah's air problem and then brainstormed solutions that they wrote on post-it notes and tacked to a board. With their free time the group would also put up post it notes to prompts like “What was the most glorious moment of your life?” just so the group could get to know each other a little bit better.

Brooks was amazed that once they started going through the ideas proposed by people they arrived at the idea for the Clean Air Fair, since originally it wasn't even posted on a note. Instead the fair was a way of offering a venue for all the different clean air solutions to a larger public.

“It's quite mystical and magical to see in of itself,” Brooks says of how this collective solution came together as the sum of a whole host of different ideas, without excluding any of them. “Inside all of us we have the answer, but collectively is where the answer manifests itself,” Brooks says.

Now the fair Saturday, March 29, will give different organizations the opportunity to pitch their solutions, the one with the most votes by members of the public will receive a month's membership to the Salt Lake Impact Hub, a collaborative space with resources and training for nonprofits, startups and other changemakers.

Brooks also says the winner from the fair will get space to present at a green music festival to be held this summer. If the winner chooses not to sign up for an ongoing membership at the impact hub they will also be able to get three months free membership at the Revolution United Nexus, that will offer classes on nonprofit management and marketing. The nexus will also offer the fair winne a nice office space for meeting with donors and will also give the winner access to their printer, button maker and even 3-D printer.

Brooks is excited about the fair which already has lined up some interesting vendors.

Via Motors, a company that makes electric trucks and modifies trucks to run electrically will have a booth. Artists for Local Agriculture will present a workshop on making “seed bombs,” and Murray-based Blue Monkey Bicycles will have electric bicycles for people to test ride.

Breathe Utah and The Leonardo will have a family zone to distract and amuse the kiddies and the Bicycle Collective will have its bike valet their for folks wanting to peddle their way to the fair. Just as the fair was the product of many heads put together, so too Brooks hopes that many people will come out to the fair to help support local solutions to cleaning the air we all breathe.

“In my opinion this is one of the mos best things about humanity-- coming together as ind and making this bigger impact,” Brooks says. “That's what it's all about in my opinion.”

Check it out, the Clean Air Fair is free and open to the public and is happening Saturday, March 29, from 12-4 p.m., at Library Square, 210 E. 400 South.

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