Living Future ’20 announces virtual plans

Living Future is the latest green-building event to pivot this year to a virtual conference.

The leading “unconference” for the regenerative building movement was to take place May 5-8 in Seattle. The event typically attracts more than 1,200 attendees and provides nearly a third of annual net revenue for the nonprofit International Living Future Institute.

“Our theme of ‘Sustaining Hope Within Crisis,’ originally intended to reflect our climate emergency, is even more relevant in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic,” says a statement posted today on the ILFI website.

The event will be held online by offering up to 16 hours of live keynotes, workshops and other sessions May 7-8, while making another 24 hours available to those who register. Rates are less than half the typical price — $700 for an all-access pass, versus $1,500 that was planned for the in-person event. In addition, this year’s all access pass includes two-hour summits to be held during six consecutive Tuesday’s after the conference. ILFI volunteered that lower rates can be arranged for individuals who live “wildly out of time zone.”

Headline speakers include Katharine Wilkinson, lead writer and vice president for Project Drawdown, and Jason F. McLennan, the Living Building Challenge founder.

Other organizations that advocate sustainable design and better buildings have altered their plans as well. Among them:

  • The inaugural WELL Conference was to be held in April in Scottsdale, Arizona. It has been rescheduled for Aug. 16-19, still in Scottsdale.
  • The AIA’s Conference on Architecture was to be held May 14-16 in Los Angeles. It has been postponed indefinitely.
  • The ASHRAE Annual Conference was to be held June 27-July 1 in Austin. It will now be virtual 

As best we can tell, plans for events in the summer and fall — including Greenbuild 2020, which is scheduled for November in San Diego — haven’t been rescheduled.

Photo: Katharine Wilkinson. Courtesy of Project Drawdown.