Rebirthing products

A winner of three U.S. presidential awards, sustainability expert Bill McDonough will speak on progressive business practices and production methods at a Townhall Foundation event in Laguna Beach.

McDonough will lead a conversation, "Celebrating Abundance: Designing for the Cradle to Cradle the Future," based on ideas presented in a book he co-authored, "Cradle to Cradle."

"I believe we can accomplish great and profitable things within a new conceptual framework — one that values our legacy, honors diversity, and feed ecosystems and societies … It is a time for designs that are creative, abundant, prosperous and intelligent to start," says a statement from McDonough on his website,

The author is the winner of the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development (1996), the National Design Award (2004) and the Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2003).

The event will be hosted at the Laguna Art Museum by the Townhall Foundation, a three-member board of local globally-minded business people who seek to introduce "paradigm-busting ideas and facilitate change" within the community and spur broader, global action, board Chairman Doug Wilson said.

The Townhall Foundation was originally based on an invitation-only model, however, board members found that the discussions were of pressing relevance to the broader community and have expanded to also include public events so that the ideas could become more accessible, Wilson said.

And because of the particular interest in "green living" in coastal communities and the foundation's familiarity with McDonough's work, the event will focus on "Cradle to Cradle."

McDonough pioneers new business and production practices which ultimately could result in more products being recycled or benefiting the planet (cradle-to-cradle) rather than ending up in a landfill (cradle-to-grave), Wilson said.

"The idea is that we create products that can be constantly rebirthed," Wilson said. "It requires some creative thinking, but it is possible."

Also speaking at the event is Bridgette Luther, president of the soon-to-be-opened "Cradle to Cradle" Institute, Wilson said.

The privately funded San Francisco institute will be on the forefront of implementing sustainable practices into the California economy.

"[Sustainability] resonates with us because we live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world and we know that we have to preserve this," Wilson said.

If You Go

What: "Celebrating Abundance: Designing for the Cradle to Cradle the Future" conversation

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Cost: Tickets are $50/$75 and can be bought through

If you go: "Celebrating Abundance: Designing for the Cradle to Cradle the Future," will begin at 7 p.m., Sept. 8., at the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. Tickets are $50/$75 and can be purchased through

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