The former S.E.E. Expo is now
“The Southern Green Living Expo”!
Sept. 14-16th 2012 at the Asheville Civic Center!
Click below to visit the new site!!
June 5th, 2011
Dear Friends of Our Southern Community and the Southern Energy & Environment Expo,
It’s with sincere regret that we announce the end of the Southern Energy & Environment Expo after 10 years.
Coordinating the S.E.E. event has been an honor and a privilege, working with literally thousands of the finest people across the region. We’ve made a difference over ten years, the event has been successful in terms of education, information and our sustainable community interactions. But we need something new. Times have changed, and not for the better. The rest here is to explain the decision to seek a new path towards sustainability. For all of you that have participated, all the energy and effort invested in the S.E.E. event and all the years we’ve worked together as a community, an explanation is deserved for those interested.
It’s our plan to come up with some new approach, event or sustainable effort. It’s not about giving up, but changing course to reflect the reality of today. The S.E.E. wasn’t about making money, other than paying the event overhead, and as coordinators we didn’t receive a salary for 10 years. But we did get quite a few excellent T-shirts .
The decision to end the S.E.E. event was difficult and complicated. In 2000, there was a consensus that a fundamental problem was the lack of public education regarding the benefits and the inter-relationships of clean energy, local economies, environmental conservation, social justice and sustainable economic development. For most of you, this has been a classic ‘no-brainer’ from the beginning, but for the general public it was, and evidently still is, a radical concept. The event within our regional sustainable community was very successful amongst ourselves, but it failed to “connect” with the general public.
Mainstream media basically ignored our event for a decade (one or two exceptions), despite an estimated 50,000 attendees, $5 million+ into the local economy and being the largest event of its kind in the South. On the bright side, a special media ‘tip of the hat’ goes to BackHome Magazine, Mountain Xpress, MAIN and WNCW for their decade of ongoing support. Our event success was due primarily to grass roots ‘word-of-mouth’, the efforts of many organizations, in particular the WNC Alliance and the WNC Green Building Council, among a number of others. In our last few years we had the participation of a wide spectrum of businesses and organizations, from the Canary Coalition to Progress Energy. Thank you all, again!
The Southern Energy & Environment Expo has done a fine job in many ways, helped many people, created jobs, saved money and much more. It’s been a great ten years and I’m proud of our community effort, but it’s better to go out with a respectable legacy than fade away with time, in my opinion.
Where Do We Go from Here?
If you’ve read this far, thank you again. Your thoughts and creative ideas are warmly welcomed. Among the new ideas being considered are smaller traveling events, coordinating and managing events locally, producing videos and internet outreach and education, individual and community consulting for sustainability and more. We’re still available for talks, programs and workshops in the regular formats, it’s not a question of stopping sustainable outreach, but a question of how to adapt to today’s reality. Or lack thereof.
Our mailing address will revert back to P.O. Box 1562, Etowah, NC 28729 for any S.E.E. correspondence. The websites will stay up to inform the wider public and the emails will remain the same, although it may be a bit longer than usual before I can reply to your emails after June 15th.
Thanks for all your support over the years and understanding in this matter.
Ned Ryan Doyle