By Stephen Vance, Staff
From how mushrooms could save the world, to simple methods of eco-mapping, to discussion of local businesses working together to help each other grow, attendees at the launch of the Eureka Exchange at Meaford Hall on Saturday were treated to a cornucopia of thought provoking ideas.
Sandwiched between the morning and afternoon discussion sessions was a lunch break that offered an opportunity for networking and to browse the exhibitors at the eco-fair that was held in the galleries of the hall.
Master of Ceremonies – CBC personality Bob McDonald – provided some interesting facts, and some comic relief as he guided the show through the agenda of seven speakers who each made presentations of approximately fifteen minutes in length.
“We are here to celebrate going green, and doing so from the ground up,” McDonald said in his show opening remarks, “What a concept- go green, and make money.”
All of the presentations made by the guest speakers were filmed and broadcast live over an internet feed that could be viewed by those who had purchased tickets for the online component of the event.
Attendees were able to ask questions of the speakers by utilizing a well executed card system that saw runners picking up the question cards and taking them to the stage.
The day brought with it some unexpected highlights.
Paul Stamets from the Seattle Washington area captivated the audience with his discussion about the work he has been doing in researching mushrooms and how they are a key component in the building of soils, reducing pollution, and providing health benefits to people.
While wearing a hat that had been made from mushrooms in Budapest, Stamets explained – often in very scientific language – that in his research he has found many uses for a wide variety of mushrooms including the clean-up of toxic waste, and the instigation of new plant growth.
“When we pair with fungi, we are rewarded with disease resistance and sustainability,” suggested Stamets.
Lynn Johannson who is one of the founders of ‘goingforthegreen.net’ was one of the driving forces behind making the Eureka Exchange a reality, told The Independent that the plan is to have a continued series of innovative thinkers give talks about a variety of environmental issues and solutions for small businesses. These talks will be recorded and available on their website.
Meaford CAO Frank Miele was pleased with how the event had come together in the very short time-line that they had do work with.
“We were hoping for a successful event to provide green technology ideas to the world,” Miele told The Independent, “We want to put Meaford on the map, we are showcasing Meaford.”
Miele also said that it is important to show that Meaford is not only open for business, but that the community is creative, innovative, and forward thinking.
Some of the video from the event will be made available on the goingforthegreen.net website.