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Dec 4, 201208:34 AMSmart Sustainable Biz

with Jessie Lerner

‘Bioneers’ exploring new frontiers of sustainability

‘Bioneers’ exploring new frontiers of sustainability

(page 1 of 2)

On Dec. 12 and 13, five visionary leaders of sustainability will gather in the city to tell their story about their work experimenting in the laboratory that is southern Wisconsin. They’ll be joined by hundreds of folks from the region, themselves leaders in their own right – working to change the way we think about what is possible.

Maybe I’m biased, because it’s my organization that organizes this conference – called Badger Bioneers – to capture the original spirit of our tenacious and ferocious mascot. But then again, maybe I’m biased because I truly believe ideas can change the world. And this conference opens the box on ideas. It will be a homegrown fest where CEOs, leaders, nonprofits, teachers, musicians, and academics are finding the connections and synergies between business, education, and neighborhoods. Bold ideas will be shared; partnerships will be created; and an innovative project, a new twist product, or a brilliant shift in thought will be conceived. Real change starts with a crazy idea.

Take Randy Cortright, the founder of Virent Energy Systems. Cortright was a science-infatuated farm boy when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Since then, he’s spent his career regularly crossing the divide between the known and the unknown. Now, Cortright and his team at Virent are finding ways to replace crude oil with naturally occurring and renewable biomass.

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