One of the most exciting events of Aspen summer 2007 was the 25th anniversary celebration of the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), the Old Snowmass-based independent entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that fosters the efficient and restorative use of resources to make the world secure, just, prosperous and life-sustaining. Dignitaries came to speak at symposiums that were moderated by Thomas Friedman, and to discuss the environment, global warming and winning the oil endgame. Just some of the speakers included former President Bill Clinton; former New York Gov. George Pataki; Amory Lovins, co-founder with Hunter Lovins of RMI; Bill Joy, former head of Sun Microsystems and now with a company that helps entrepreneurs advance the Internet; Dean Kamen, inventor of the Segway Human Transporter; Hal Harvey, environmental program director at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Rob Walton, chairman of the board of Wal-Mart; Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx; and Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia.
Co-chairs of the RMI weekend anniversary were Molly and Tom Bedell and Elaine and Rob LeBuhn. Director of the celebration was Ginni Galicinao, who is the senior development director at RMI. The weekend included symposiums and receptions and ended with a gala at the Bedells’ Peace Ranch up above the Fryingp an River.A reception Friday evening was held on the lawn of the home of Jonathan Lewis (the former Paepcke home). The cooking tent was set up at the Given Institute next door, and a bear at Hallam Lake smelled the goodies and came up to the party. Several of the male waiters shooed him away.Undercurrent … You must stop and admire (and smell) the sweet peas that Jill Westerlind has on the fence in front of her Jill’s Carpet Store on Aspen’s Main Street. Sweet peas were historically grown by Aspenites all over town during the Quiet Years.