Archive for June, 2009

Join the Spheres of Influence Network

Do you want to make a meaningful difference to protect the planet– and work with other influencers to be a part of the solution?

Are you thinking about how to leave your mark?

Do you want to understand the issues more deeply?

Then you’ve come to the right place to learn what you can do to make a difference on the climate crisis.

Spheres of Influence brings together likely and unlikely environmentalists, ordinary citizens and influencers who want to make a difference — who want to use their money and energy, spirit and wisdom, connections and passion to leave a healthy planet for their children and grandchildren– for tomorrow’s children.

OUR  MISSION: To serve those who are working to protect the planet, and to help the concerned citizen become more engaged.

HOW IT WORKS: We gather several times a year for conversation about important aspects of the effort to protect the planet. At those gatherings, experts, sustainability professionals and concerned individuals come together to share ideas and resources. We also offer monthly national conference calls on which members are invited to partcipate in live dicussion; non members listen in.

Two features distinguish our network: Its caliber, and its broad range from arts and media to science and policy to global corporations.

JOIN US!  Join today at Member Registration. Join now and be enterted to win a copy of James Balog’s important and beautiful book: Extreme Ice Now.

Extreme Ice

Extreme Ice

Why a salon? A salon is a European concept, defined by Wikipedia as a gathering in which “the participants sought to increase their knowledge through conversation and readings.” The Spheres of Influence Salon is a virtual and live venue for stimulating dialogue with thought leaders, experts and visionaries who are addressing the state of the planet.

Thought leaders and experts in the Salon community include:

Thought leader Rob Harmon (WA) of Bonneville Environmental Foundation, who invented the retail carbon credit (REC) and who continues to develop innovative market solutions to the problem of C02 emissions.

Richard Rood (MI), Professor of Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Space Sciences at  University of Michigan. Formerly at NASA, Professor Rood works as part of an interdisciplinary team on climate change, and thoughtfully addresses matters such the relationship between science and policy.

Brad Warren (WA) of the international nonprofit Sustainable Fisheries Partnership, whose clients include Wal-Mart and McDonalds. He has been working at the interface of business and the environment for 25 years, and is an expert on ocean acidification- global warming’s evil twin– another unintended consequence of our rising C02 emissions.

Pamela Martin (IL), Professor of Geophysical Sciences at University of Chicago. Prof. Martin is doing important research in various areas related to climate change, including matters of practical day-to-day relavance such as the carbon footprint of our diet.

Karen Leigh Cook (NM), energy policy consultant of EECOM, Inc, is active with the US Conference of Mayors’ Climate Protection Center and the US Green Building Council, and believes passionately that we have a responsibility to “clear away the policy barriers for the sake of our children.”

Jeff Short (AK), marine scientist with the natoinal nonprofit Oceana. Working on how CO2 emissions impact the oceans and on climate policy in the run up to the Copenhagen talks in December 2009.

“Tackling global warming is a form of estate planning. The people who have the most at stake in reversing global warming are the parents of the world. People who are civic leaders who help to run our companies are also parents, and they play a lot of other roles in the world. I think we need to step out of our business roles and look at our spheres of influence. We all have to come together as parents to fight climate change.” David Weinberg, charter member of Salon/retired head of FelPro, Inc.

Listen to the audio testimonial from Joey Feinstein, Founder and CEO of and Founding member of Spheres of Influence Young Leaders Circle

Spheres of Influencelaunched September 2008 at Navy Pier in Chicago during the Corporate Climate Response Conference. Speakers for the Salon Kick-Off included Rob Harmon, renewable energy thought leader and Chief Innovation Officer at the Bonneville Environmental Foundation who developed the concept of the retail carbon credit (REC), actress and founding Salon member Nora Dunn (Saturday Night Live, Second City) who is also an accomplished painter and committed conservationist who uses her talents and wit to deliver her message, and Brooks Scott, from corporate sustainability pioneer Patagonia, who spoke about how climate change has propelled their company to deepen their commitment to protecting the natural world. They shared their inspirational stories about how they are using their spheres of influence, and how we can all effectively use our talents, voices and votes.

To Join: Interested in learning about the benefits of membership? Visit our Spheres of Influence Salon Member Registration. You are also invited to learn more about our organization’s Code of Conduct.  

Upcoming Salon Events:

Tuesday, April  13th , 2010

6-7 pm-Eastern / 5:00-6:00 pm Central / 3:00-4:00 pm Pacific

Teleconference &  Virtual Roundtable: Renewable Energy: Possibility & Prosperity

Special Guest: Mark Townsend Cox, Founder of the New Energy Fund in NYC

Moderator: Sarah B. Warren, Ph.D.,  SpheresFounder

Mark Cox has a passionate, articulate vision of a path to a prosperous and sustainable future through renewable energy. He has a masterful ability to explain technical details to a nontechnical audience.

As always, select Spheres members will be invited to join the Virtual Roundtable. Non members are welcome to listen in.

April 22nd, 2010

5-7 PM

Tour of Academy for Global Citizenship

We’ll talk about how we need to prepare the next generation to work, live and lead in a very different world at this exciting new International Baccalaureate program in the Chicago Public Schools.

5-6 pm Earth Day Project with Students and Guests

6-7 pm Enjoy a glass of organic wine as we tour the school with Founder, Sarah Elizabeth Ippel.

Purchase tickets:

June 23rd, 2010

Members Only Invitation: VIP Reception for the Opening of the Field Museum’s Climate Change Exhibit.

Mingle with Trustees, Founders Circle and corporate sponsors, preview the exhibit and spread the word about the exhibit!

Recent Salon Events

April 13th. 2010
Virtual Roundtable Topic: Renewable Energy: Possibility and Prosperity

Special guest Mark Townsend Cox, Founder of the New Energy Fund

This podcast affords an opportunity not only for clean tech fans but for newbies to learn more about the possibilities inherent in renewable energy. Mark has a passionate vision for paving the way to a better world through renewable energy, and a fascinating story about why he wants to prevent future wars over oil in light of his experience as a young British soldier in the Falklands conflict over oil.

February 9th , 2010

Teleconference &  Virtual Roundtable Topic: Solar, Cycling & Schools: Raising Money for Solar Panels on Schools!

Special Guest: Joey Feinstein, Founder of

Moderator: Sarah B. Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder

In this roundtable we learned about the mission and genesis of  this exciting programwhich  raised $70,000 for solar panels on Chicago Public Schools on its first bike ride. This program is exciting in part because it can be scaled up– and we need to scale up our solutions to the climate crisis.

January 26th , 2010

Teleconference &  Virtual Roundtable: Forging a Corporate Coalation: Green SigmaTM

 Special Guest: Melissa O’Mara of IBM who is a Sustainability Leader (and Charter Spheres of Influence member). Melissa has been spearheading the new Green Sigma Coalition of corporations who have committed to reduce their environmental footprint, including energy and water.

Special Commentator: Prof. Klaus Weber of NU Kellogg whose research includes the relationship between sustainability and corporate culture change.

Moderator: Sarah B. Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder

Melissa O’Mara shared with us her story of evolving from sales into sustainability, and the genesis of IBM’s innovation GreenSigmaTM Coalition which brings corporations into collaboration in providing sustainability services.

December 10th, 2009

Holiday Party Celebrating “Live & Give Green” at Healthy Green Goods in Evanston

We enjoyed organic wine and conversed  with special guests Jack Darin, Director of the Illinois Sierra Club and Cool Globes artist Andrea Harris.

We talked about how to “give” in nonmaterial ways, including using our voices! Dr. Sarah also recommended giving green-e certified carbon offsets and Water Restoration Credits, a new product from Bonneville Environmental Foundation (

Thank you to Mohawk Fine Papers for your generous sponsorship of this event!

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Teleconference &  Virtual Roundtable: Climate Change: A View from Abroad (Beyond China & India)

Special Guest: Dana Kenney (City of Chicago Dept. of Environment, formerly of USAID)

Moderator: Sarah B. Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder

Spheres of Influence member Dana Kenney worked in emerging countries on energy efficiency with US AID for a number of years. She shared her unique perspective, having only recently returned from the developing world. She offered her insights into how we can apply lessons learned from the developing world, and how emerging economies can continue to grow while we reduce our C02 emissions. She was joined for the Roundtable by Prof. Richard Rood (UMichigan) and Prof. Cynthia Lynton (Northwestern).

Listen to the audiofile:

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

Conference Call & Virtual Roundtable

Topic: So What IS the Food & Climate Change Connection?

Special Guest: Prof. Pamela Martin (Univ. of Chicago)

Moderator: Sarah B. Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder

The food and climate connection is that one that captures a lot of attention.

Prof. Martin shared her exciting research on the impact of urban sustainable farms– and her vision for a viable local “food shed” in Chicagoland that could feed 4.5 million people!

And we learned that cutting out meat and dairy saves as much C02 emissions as driving a Prius!

For the Roundtable we were joined by Dana Kenney (City of Chicago Dept. of the Environment) and Patsy Benveniste of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Listen to the audio here:

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Cocktail Party & Green Home Tour

Salon members and friends new and old kicked off the fall season with a cocktail and a private tour of the beautiful green home and office of leading green architects, Ron & Lisa Elkins of the firm Two Point Perspective. We had a great time drinking appletinis, learning about green home resources, business innovation related to green design, green building policy iniatives, and even veered into how diet and climate are related as we enjoyed gorgeous vegan appetizers by The Balanced Kitchen.  And we welcome new members Lisa & Ron Elkins to the Salon!

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

National Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Mothers Using their Voices on Climate Policy
SPECIAL GUEST: Karen Leigh Cook (US Council of Mayors, US Green Building Council)
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.

Inner Sphere policy maven Karen Leigh Cook is a longtime climate policy advocate who is extremely effective at speaking out and engaging policy makers.

Karen says “We need to clear away the policy obstacles for the next generation.”

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

Support Sphere Feedback Session with Joey Feinstein, Young Leaders Circle member & Founder of Climate Cycle.

Several Salon members with different areas of professional expertise met with Joey Feinstein to offer him feedback on his power point on Climate Cycle.

Joey said “Thank you all for your feedback. It saved me months of trial and error. It was spot on.”

July 14th, 2009

Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Renewable Energy: Outlook & Opportunities
GUEST: Rob Harmon, Chief Innovation Officer, Bonneville Environmental Foundation
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.

Rob Harmon is a member of the Salon’s  Inner Sphere. The inventor of Retail RECs, Rob is a true thought leader in the realm of renewable energy. With close to two decades in the industry, Rob is steeped in the field.

Rob had just been in DC talking with legislators about  the problem of  of the Waxman Markey bill negatively impacting the voluntary market for RECs.

Rob was joined on this call by other Inner Sphere members: Karen Leigh Cook, Brad Warren and Prof. Richard Rood.

Listen in on this high level policy discussion (and please be patient with  the audio when Brad Warren is speaking). Listen and take action!

Register to pose your question and get the call in number. Salon members may be selected to participate in the Round Table portion of the call. Non-members may listen in.

June 12th, 2009

Garden Party & Dinner Celebrating our Bright Green Future

During Cocktails in the Garden we honored remarkable Young Leaders– entrepreneurs and policy advocates and educators–and launched the Young Leaders Circle of membership.

Our dinner guests lingered over an intimate dinner until after midnight discussing the policy implications of global warming’s evil twin– ocean acidification.  Our special guests were Brad Warren of Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Jeff Short of Oceana. It was a powerful conversation about how we can and must use our spheres of influence to shape global emissions policy at this critical juncture.

June 9th, 2009

National Conference Call & Virtual Roundtable
“Sustaining Ourselves, Sustaining the Planet– or Go Green, Get Happy!”

April 22nd, 2009
Earth Day Organic Wine Tasting with Local  “Green Heroes”

We joined Bill and Eleanor Revelle (son and daughter-in-law of Prof. Roger Revelle who introduced Gore to C02) and Suzanne Canfield of the Garden Clubs of America, and Jill Geiger of Environmental Law & Policy Center for a discussion of what we need to do to scale up our efforts to combat climate change. The conclusion: Get involved in policy (arrived at over a lucious glass of organic wine)!

April 10th, 2009
Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Education for a Hot Crowded World: The “Green
Car Kids” from Philadelphia Automotive Academy
Special Guests: Simon Hauger and the EVX Team
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.

March 10th, 2009
Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Simple Green:  The Financial & Spiritual Rewards of Going Green in an Economic Crisis
SPECIAL GUESTS: Nancy & Mathew Sleeth, MD.
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.

February 17th, 2009
Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Science Update
SPECIAL GUEST: Prof. Richard Rood (University of Michigan)
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.

February 5th, 2009
National Teach-In on Global Warming Solutions
We joined Nora Dunn as “Pat Stevens” to talk about how we can use our voices and votes to combat climate change. We  laughed– and we learned.
Dr. Sarah Warren & Nora Dunn
January 14th, 2009
Teleconference & Virtual Round Table:
Assessing Corporate Sustainability
SPECIAL GUEST: Neal Levin, Founder of the SKAN Project.
MODERATOR: Sarah Warren, Ph.D., Salon Founder.
Download audio file.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Organic Wine Tasting
and Discussion of Food & Global Warming


In spite of a blizzard, a great group of people joined actress and founding Salon member Nora Dunn, civic leader David Weinberg, special guest experts Prof. Pamela Martin (University of Chicago), Joanne Weidemann-Wolf of Angelic Organics, Sarah Elizabeth Ippelt of the new Academy for Global Citizenship, and Joel Smith of Slow Food International, and founding Salon member John Woldenberg, co-founder of Cool Globes.

We were joined by lots of interesting people who are various shades of green. We sampled organic wine and had a very stimulating discussion. A handful of people who attended are just sticking their toes in the water– they are part of the outer sphere of the Salon, and the growing movement of unlikely environmentalists.

December 11 th, 2008

Holiday Party

David Weinberg & Dr. Sarah Warren

David Weinberg & Dr. Sarah Warren

Dr. Sarah Warren & Nora Dunn

Dr. Sarah Warren & Nora Dunn

Wednesday, December 3

“Setting the agenda for the first 100 days”

Prof. Eban Goodstein, author of Fighting for Love in the Century of Extinction artfully blends passion and policy. In early 2008 Professor Goodstein mobilized 1 million participants across the country. On February 5, with the National Teach in on Global Warming Solutions, he plans to do the same. — His sphere of influence is pretty big. He shared his view as an economist that the economic downturn affords an opportunity to build green infrastructure. He spoke with Salon members about how they can participate in setting the agenda for “the first 100 days.” And– A great Spheres of Influence conversation occurred, in which members helped Eban solve some of his outreach challenges.

Wednesday, October 8

“How we can seize the opportunity of the election to get the climate policies we need—for our children’s sake?”

Betsy Taylor, co-founder of 1Sky (, discussed with Dr. Sarah Warren how we can use our spheres of influence in the weeks before the election to ensure that we get the climate policies we need to protect the planet for our children. Betsy Taylor was featured in Leo DiCaprio’s film 11th Hour. Prior to founding 1Sky- a new national climate focused NGO- Betsy was with Center for the New American Dream which she founded.  Listen to that conversation. (

To read the indepth email exchange with Richard Rood and Rob Harmon that followed one of the callers’ questions about the Pickens Plan,  visit this page on my site. (If the link is not working, go the right side of the site and click on the page entitled “Salon Policy Experts…”)

More about the ongoing Salon:

Dr. Sarah Warren believes that the only way to turn the climate crisis around is for us all to green our lifestyles and businesses, as well as to overhaul our policies – and for all of us to act as catalysts for others to join in the burgeoning collective effort to save the planet.

The Salon is about more than reducing our carbon footprints. It’s about the power of stories, the power of exchanging ideas, and the power of relationships and new partnerships. It’s about the power of a community of influencers.

Dr. Warren believes that we should heed the call issued by David King, a former top science advisor to the British government: “”We need to pull people toward …the bigger challenges where the outcome for our civilization is really crucial.”  There is no greater challenge than climate change. There is no better focus for our talents and efforts.

The spirit of the Salon is embodied by several of its charter members. Civic leader David Weinberg, the retired head of FelPro, Inc, has applied his talents as a professional photographer to climate change as the photographer for the coffee table book for the Cool Globes: Hot Ideas for Cooler Planet traveling public art exhibit. He sees fighting global warming as matter of “estate planning.”  We invite you to listen to a recent Interview with David Weinberg.

Other charter members include Suzanne Farver who is a board member of Rocky Mountain Institute who recently completed research at Harvard on framing climate change issues.  Lisa Nigro, social venture pioneer and proud Prius owner, who founded the Inspiration Cafe, demonstrating how successfully businesses can solve social problems. Real estate developer and independent film producer John Woldenberg produced the documentary film Cool It; as a member of Board of the Holocaust Museum, he is supporting the museum’s efforts to ensure environmental responsibility.

The Spheres of Influence Salon is not just about getting more deeply informed about the climate crisis but about committing to use our collective energy and wisdom to tackle climate change. It is about joining a community of civic and business leaders and experts on science and policy who want to achieve the common end of leaving a legacy we can be proud of. The mission of the Salon is to move people from awareness into action– action that is meaningful, thoughtful and high impact.

Join Dr. Sarah Warren, a seasoned psychologist and addictions specialist– that includes oil– who is committed to creating a unified, collective war effort. She inspires to people use their spheres of influence to preserve the “garden” that nourishes us, sustains our businesses and economy, and offers us and our children remarkable beauty.

To learn more about the benefits of membership, visit our member page. No ready to join? To stay informed about future programs and opportunities for involvement, sign up on Dr. Sarah’s mailing list.

Live events will occur not only in Chicago but in various locations around the country. And, of course, thanks to the power of technology,  you can participate in virtual events from anywhere!

Keep coming back to learn more details. Or, to save yourself the effort, sign up for Dr. Sarah’s mailing list.

If you want to “tend the garden” that sustains our economy and our lives, if you want to be a part of the solution to the climate crisis by using your spheres of influence, this salon will place you in the midst of the green zeitgeist—what Dr. Sarah Warren calls the war effort to save the planet.

To learn more about the benefits of membership, visit our member page. Questions? Email Dr. Sarah Warren at

June 15, 2009 at 12:42 pm

10% of all proceeds are donated to the Academy for Global Citizenship.

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