Request for Proposals: Now Seeking Speakers and Topics
for Gorge Owned’s New Sustainable Impact Series

Gorge Owned is now accepting proposals for speakers, topics, and partners for a program launching Summer of 2018 that builds on the popular Gorge Green Drinks series.

Like Green Drinks, the Sustainable Impact Series will bring community members together in an engaging social setting at venues across the Gorge, while featuring experts, community leaders, businesses, organizations, and individuals that are proactively addressing sustainability challenges. The series will focus even more intentionally on meaningful impact (personal and systemic, local and global), offering practical tools and calls to action, and emphasizing the importance of collaboration to achieve common goals.

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Program Background and Description:

Launched in 2009, Gorge Green Drinks provided an opportunity for locally-owned, sustainable, and community-oriented businesses to network and share their unique stories with customers, media, community members, and peers. Host venues in communities around the Gorge offered light food and drink, and community members mingled before a presentation or tour delivered by the host venue or speaker.

The new Sustainable Impact Series builds on the brand of its predecessor, maintaining many of its successful components, while advancing the program to more intentionally cultivate impact around compelling and timely topics in the Gorge. Each installment of the series will equip guests with practical tools or calls to action (a key requirement of all proposals) to effect real and lasting change.

Program Goals:

The goals of the Sustainable Impact Series are to:

  • Educate and inform attendees about a sustainability topic presented by experts in their fields and leaders in the community.
  • Inspire and equip attendees to take meaningful action in their own lives.
  • Welcome and appeal to people of all demographics, including low-income residents.
  • Provide a forum for local businesses and individuals that are contributing proactively to the topic presented, and an opportunity to collaborate.
  • Provide an interactive and engaging way for people of all demographics from around the Gorge to come together, deepening connections between community members.

Topics for the series could include (for example):

  • Carbon Diet: Ways to reduce your carbon footprint by investing in energy-efficiency, solar and renewable energy options, transportation choices and more.
  • Megawatt Mining: Examining the global and local impacts of bitcoin mining and data centers drawing power from dams on the Columbia.
  • A Known Threat: The implications of living down river from Hanford Nuclear Site, the biggest radioactive threat in the West.
  • Resilience in the Gorge: How to adapt in a National Scenic Area for the inevitable effects of climate change.
  • Give Me Shelter: How a worsening housing crisis in the Gorge affects the local economy, communities, and what local leaders plan to do about it.
  • Good Neighbors: Meeting at the table with the economic interests of local manufacturers, environmental regulators, and neighbors impacted by potentially harmful pollution.
  • The Sustainable Table: An in-depth perspective on the web of economic, environmental, and cultural impacts of the sustainable and local food movement.

A Broad View of Sustainability

Sustainability is not just environmentalism. Embedded in most definitions of sustainability we also find concerns for social equity and economic development. While the concept of sustainability is a relatively new idea, the movement as a whole has roots in social justice, conservationism, and other past movements with rich histories. By the end of the 20th century, many of these ideas had come together.


  • Proposals for speakers and topics are due Friday, April 20th, 2018.
  • Topics will be chosen and speakers notified by Monday, April 30th, 2018.
  • The 2018 season will feature 3-4 installments executed in July, August, and September; across 3 regions of the Gorge (Western, Central, Eastern). Gorge Owned will identify and arrange host venues in each region.

Fees and Compensation:

  • Honorariums: Speakers will be entitled to a modest $100 honorarium (one honorarium per installment), or a donation to the organization they represent, or an in-kind annual GO! basic business membership.
  • Lead fees: If an installment is specifically designed to connect businesses to their target consumers, speakers that profit from the series agree to waive the honorarium. These businesses, consultants, and contractors may be asked to return a lead fee to Gorge Owned (such as the GO! Solar program model).

Proposal Instructions:

Please respond to each of the following and return proposals to by Friday, April 20th.

  1. Who is the proposed speaker/presenter or presenters? Please provide name, title, and a brief bio.
  2. Please provide a description of the topic proposed, and your vision for presenting it (note that presentations should be approximately 30 minutes, with leeway).
  3. Which town or region in the Gorge are you most interested in presenting (if applicable)? Do you have a host venue in mind?
  4. What are some area businesses, organizations, or individuals that you feel would be ideal partners for this topic? Have you reached out to them already about partnering?
  5. What are some practical tools, advice, or calls to action that you can equip guests with, and to what meaningful effect? (Required)

Who we are:

Gorge Owned is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to resilient, connected, and thriving communities across the Columbia River Gorge. Rooted in the ethic of sustainability (people + profit + planet), Gorge Owned seeks to nurture and promote the area’s local, sustainable business community, educate residents about personal impact, and foster meaningful connections between people and place.