LIght City U will feature learning by day with art and music at night.
Just one of many Light City U light installations, “Voyage” consists of 300 floating paper boats encasing colored dynamic LED lights. Presented by Brown Advisory
Just one of many Light City U light installations, “Voyage” consists of 300 floating paper boats encasing colored dynamic LED lights. Presented by Brown Advisory

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will be blazing bright with the inaugural Light City innovation festival this March 28 to April 3.  This first-of-its-kind event will combine thought-provoking learning during the day with world-class music and art at night. Light City U’s 1.5 mile BGE Light Art Walk is sure to be a magical experience unlike no other in Baltimore.

Light City U will host four innovation conferences – Sustainability, Health, Social and Creative. Each conference features experts highlighting solutions to help answer the question: How do we become a more responsible and equitable society?

The two-day Sustainability Innovation conference brings an extensive and diverse lineup of thought leaders to Baltimore.  The conference sessions are listed below. Even better, save 50 percent off the conference cost with our Baltimore Fishbowl coupon.

Branded as ‘Moving Smart Energy Forward,’ the Sustainability Innovation conference will take place at UMBC’s Columbus Center on Wednesday, March 30th and Thursday, March 31st.  The speaker line-up reflects the many areas that will be impacted as sustainability moves front and center and our world adapts and transforms to a less carbon-intensive world.

Each day’s session begins at 9 a.m. with ample opportunity for networking. Conference tickets include lunch, musical performances, and a social event on Tuesday in the BGE Smart Ideas Lounge. Sustainability Innovation is sponsored by BGE.

During Thursday’s session, Ray Lewis and Power 52’s CEO Dan Wallace will share the non-profit’s vision for launching community solar and solar training in disadvantaged neighborhoods. Ray Lewis will be signing books at the session’s close on Thursday. Also during Thursday’s session, five local health care and five local green businesses will pitch their business plans to the audience and a panel of judges in the Light the Future Startup Pitch Competition. The winning pitch takes home $5,000. 

Sustainability Innovation costs $99 if you sign up by Friday, March 25th (regularly priced at $200). Register here and enter the promotion code BFB2016 to access the $99 rate.

Day 1: Wednesday, March 30th Sustainability Innovation Sessions

How Behavioral Science Can Lower Your Energy ~ Alex Laskey, Founder of OPower

Powernomics: Empowering Lives, One Kilowatt At A Time ~ Robert Wallace, CEO Bithgroup

Powering the Future Moderator: Calvin Butler, CEO BGE

Featured Panelists:

Gene Rodrigues, Vice President, ICF

Chris Gould, Chief Sustainability Officer, Exelon

Val Jensen, ComEd, Director of Smart Pole 

Alternative Energy, Job Creation & the New Economy ~ Nicole Steele, Ex. Dir., Grid Alternatives

New Green Technologies Perspectives On Green Investing and Start-up Community in Baltimore.

Moderator: Mike Smith, Director of Constellation Technology Ventures

Featured Panelists:

Jen Meyer, President, Betamore

Josh Goldberg, Co-Founder Astrum Solar

Ashton Newhall, Co-Founder of Greenspring Associates

Leveraging Entrepreneurship & Trees to Make a Difference ~ Jared Carlson, Director of Innovation & Business Development, Arbor Day Foundation

Taking Initiative for Our Future ~ Adam Lindquist, Director Healthy Harbor Initiative & John Kellett, President of Clearwater Mills LLC & Baltimore Trash Wheel

48 Days of Blue Campaign: Messaging Sustainability, powered by the National Aquarium Moderator: Heather Doggett, Director of Guest Services

National Aquarium Featured Panelists:

Bryan Barnes, Director of Digital Marketing Strategy

Nabila Chami, Social Media Manager

Greening the World One Customer at a Time. Entrepreneurs Building Businesses with Sustainability as the Central Mission. Moderated by: Karina Funk, Portfolio Manager and Head of Sustainable Investing Strategies, Brown Advisory

Featured Panelists:

Vinnie Bevivino, Chesapeake Compost Works

Aric Wanveer, Co-Founder of ZGC / Tapologie

Susan Aplin, Co-Founder & CEO of Bambeco

Maryland Green Prisons Initiative ~ Chris Swan, Maryland Transition Center

Putting Consumers in Control of Energy Choices ~ Phil Croskey, CEO Maryland Energy Advisors & Founder of

Day 2: Thursday, March 31sh Sustainability Innovation Sessions

Blue Zones: Secrets of a Long Life ~  Nick Buettner, Blue Zones

Three Little Words ~ William C. Baker, Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Our Planet, Our Health, & Taking Care of Tomorrow: Sustainability in Healthy Food Choices Moderator: TJ Tate, Dir. of Sustainable Seafood for the National Aquarium

 Featured Panelists:

Mike McDevitt, Terra’s Kitchen CEO

Michael Stebner, Executive Chef, Sweetgreen

Yoni Zohar, Chair, Department of Marine Biology, UMBC

Chrissy Goldberg, Food & Farm Director at Civic Works’

Daniel Plimpton, Mid-Atlantic Seafood Associate Coordinator

Investing in Next Wave of Health & Sustainability

Moderator: Deric Emry, Venture Partner, Greenspring Associates

Featured Panelists:

Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, See Jane Invest

Rodney Foxworth, Founder, Invested Impact

Justin Label, Inner Loop Capital

Ashton Newhall, Greenspring Associates

A Livable City: The Adaptive Challenge of the Urban Century ~Lindsay Thompson, Founder, CityLab; Professor, Carey Business School

Light the Future Startup Pitch Competition

Clean energy + clean jobs for Low Income Communities ~ Dan Wallace, President and CEO, Power52.  Ray Lewis, Former Baltimore Raven, Vice President Power52

Followed by Ray Lewis book signing event.

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Laurel Peltier

Laurel Peltier writes the environment GreenLaurel column every Thursday in the Baltimore Fishbowl.