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Portland Conference Seeks to Spread Sustainable Business Ideas

Five awesome Portland businesses get the tools they need from social entrepreneurs.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOzbTW-2kRE&feature=youtu.be

At the Net Impact conference in Portland, Oregon, some 2,600 business students and professionals are gathering to figure out how best to use their skills for good, not evil—starting with five awesome local businesses that are solving real problems.


“You can take the power of business and change the world,” Liz Maw, executive director of Net Impact, said this morning. “This conference is about helping you come up with your own sustainability and impact plan. We want you to Occupy Wall Street, but from the inside.”

They’re making an immediate impact on five responsible organizations working in Portland—home of books, beer and sustainability—by putting their talents to work in an intensive seminar to help them to take their work to a national level.

Focus the Nation is supporting young leaders at the state level to find opportunities to accelerate the transition to clean energy. Net Impacters will figure out innovative, replicable financing models to help implement small- to mid-sized renewable energy projects around the country.

GO Box is a new service providing reusable to-go containers for downtown Portland food carts (there are a ton of them) and their customers. At the conference, they’ll try to figure out the most efficient and profitable model for expanding GO Box beyond Portland and stop food packaging waste around the country.

Portland Pedal Power provides bike delivery and promotional services for companies that want to reduce their carbon footprint, but they need help figuring out how to expand operations and find leasing opportunities within Portland, then in other cities.

Upstream Public Health is advocating for policies to keep Oregonians in good health. They have a design and communications challenge for the social innovators at Net Impact: What can they do to better communicate the harm of soda consumption and change behavior?

The Bus Project is engaging new folks in democracy and using person-to-person politics to move Oregon forward. Now, they’re turning their attention to giving, asking Net Impact to help them engage the millennial generation in sustainable philanthropy.

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The goal is to take these ideas that work so well locally and start making them a reality across the country—making social responsibility the rule, not the exception. As Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the city’s eccentric, sustainability-loving Congressman, told the audience this morning, “If you see something [in Portland] that works, steal it.”

Video courtesy Sustainable Business Oregon

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This article was produced in partnership with the United Nations to launch the biggest-ever global conversation on the role of cooperation in building the future we want.

When half of the world's population doesn't share the same opportunity or rights as the other half, the whole world suffers. Like a bird whose wings require equal strength to fly, humanity will never soar to its full potential until we achieve gender equality.

That's why the United Nations made one of its Sustainable Development Goals to "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls." That goal includes providing women and girls equal access to education and health care, as well as addressing gender-based discrimination and violence against women and girls.

While there is still much work to be done, history shows us that we are capable of making big leaps forward on this issue. Check out some of the milestones humanity has already reached on the path to true equality.

Historic Leaps Toward Gender Equality

1848 The Seneca Falls Convention in New York, organized by Elizabeth Lady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, is the first U.S. women's convention to discuss the oppression of women in sociopolitical, economic, and religious life.

1893 New Zealand becomes the first self-governing nation to grant national voting rights to women.

1903 Marie Curie becomes the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is also the only woman to win multiple Nobel Prizes, for Physics in 1903 and Chemistry in 1911.

1920 The 19th Amendment is passed in the U.S. giving women the right to vote in all 50 U.S. states.

1973 The U.S. Open becomes the first major sports tournament of its kind to offer equal pay to women, after tennis star Billie Jean King threatened to boycott.

1975 The first World Conference on Women is held in Mexico, where a 10-year World Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women is formed. The first International Women's Day is commemorated by the UN in the same year.

1979 The UN General Assembly adopts the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), also known as the "Women's Bill of Rights." It is the most comprehensive international document protecting the rights of women, and the second most ratified UN human rights treaty after the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

1980 Vigdis Finnbogadottir of Iceland becomes the first woman to be elected head of state in a national election.

1993 The UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, the first international instrument to explicitly define forms of violence against women and lay out a framework for global action.

2010 The UN General Assembly creates the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) to speed progress on meeting the needs of women and girls around the world.

2018 The UN and European Union join forces on the Spotlight Initiative, a global, multi-year initiative focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls.

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As the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary, it is redoubling its commitment to reach all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including gender equality. But it will take action and effort from everyone to ensure that women and girls are free from discrimination and violence. Learn more about what is being done to address gender equality and see how you can get involved here.

And join the global conversation about the role of international cooperation in building the future by taking the UN75 survey here.

Let's make sure we all have a say in the future we want to see.

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Perez claims he was responding to insults hurled at him by the officers. The police say that Perez was picking a fight. The altercation left Perez with a broken nose, scrapes, swelling, and bruises from his hips to his shoulder.

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