If you’re an eco-minded foodie or green-conscious businessperson or both, I hope you live in Southern California. That’s because this weekend comes a unique conference: Leaders Causing Leaders. More than 100 inspiring speakers will talk about environmental action, human rights, and self-improvement — as well as art, business, science, and spirituality. In fact, many of the speakers will show unique connections between these fields, with the goal to inspire change and transformation.
Can business become a way to awaken the spirit? Acknowledgment a tool to shape a community? That’s what Matthew and Terces Engelhart of California’s eco-friendly restaurant chain Cafe Gratitude will be talking about. Ask an environmentalist where you should dine in the Bay Area, and Cafe Gratitude will likely come up. That uber green eatery — now with 7 locations in the Bay Area and a new spot expected to open in Los Angeles in February 2011 — is well-known not just for its local sustainable eats but also for the cutely-named dishes and uber-friendly staff. Order “I Am Fabulous” off the menu and you’ll get a delicious dish of vegan seasonal lasagna — along with an enthusiastic and heartfelt “you ARE fabulous! from the employee who hands you the dish.
Cafe Gratitude fans will say the place has its own unique culture and community — and this weekend at Leaders Causing Leaders, the Engelharts will share some of the secrets behind their successes. According to Matthew, their talk will focus on “how to use acknowledgment in building a community.” Terces adds that acknowledgment can change and shape people — and by extension, entire communities. “You can create who the people are that you live with, work with — the people in your community, the people in your life,” Terces says. “It’s a powerful tool.”
Other speakers and panelists include “I am Dreaming of a Green Christmas” author Anna Getty and founder of the Global 30 Day Yoga Challenge Dashama Konah Gordon — as well as musician Jason Mraz, “Chicken Soup for the Soul” publisher Mark Victor Hansen, and many others. In addition to speakers, the conference also includes a youth leadership program, workshops, concerts, and other entertainment.
The two-day conference happens Sat., Nov. 6 and Sun., Nov. 7 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, Calif. Admission prices range from $25 for youth tickets to $250 for exclusive all-weekend VIP packs.