Keynote Speaker Gil Friend

Gil Friend

Systems Ecology, Sustainability and Business Strategy Expert

  • Speaker's U.S. Fee Range
    $20,001 - $40,000 i
  • Languages Spoken
  • Travels From
    California, USA

Suggested Keynote Speeches & Programs

  • The Mysteriously Elusive Sustainability Business Case – How smart companies are making sustainability a source of business value –and others are working too hard NOT to get it.
  • The State of Sustainability - How well is the marriage of business and sustainability really doing? A report from the field.
  • Measuring What Matters - Selecting and using environmental performance metrics and incentive systems that profitably drive performance toward environmental, economic, and strategic goals.
  • Industrial Ecology: How Your Business Can Learn From a Meadow - Where "waste" just doesn't exist - and put four billion years of R+D to work for your bottom line.

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Gil Friend’s Key Accomplishments Include . . .
A systems ecologist and business strategist with over 35 years experience in business, communications and environmental innovation, Gil Friend combines broad business experience with unique content experience spanning strategy, systems ecology, economic development, management cybernetics, public policy – and sustainable agriculture. “Nature’s ecosystems have spent 3.85 billion years building efficient, complex, adaptive, resilient systems,” he observes. “Why should companies reinvent the wheel when the R&D has already been done?” Tomorrow Magazine called Gil Friend, “One of the country’s leading environmental management consultants – a real expert who combines theoretical sophistication with hands-on, in-the-trenches know-how.”

Gil Friend helps companies and communities gain competitive advantage and develop breakthrough economic performance by building the laws of nature into their business strategies and operating systems. Or more simply put, Gil Friend helps companies boost profits while reducing environmental impact. He offers insights and methodologies for achieving both economic and ecological sustainability.

Gil Friend developed sustainable agriculture policy for the California Governor’s Office and co-developed and taught the initial courses in AgroEcology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Gil Friend is a founding board member of the Sustainable Business Alliance, Sustainable Berkeley, and the California Sustainable Business Council, and serves on the advisory boards of CleanFish, WattBot, Green World Campaign, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Clean Tech Advisory Council.

Gil Friend wrote The New Bottom Line, a monthly column on business strategy for the LA Times Syndicate, and maintains weblog on strategic sustainability. He has contributed chapters to several books, including Stepping Stones, Sustainable Food Systems, Worldchanging: A Users Guide to the 21st Century, Sustainable Enterprise Report, Sustainable Enterprise Fieldbook, and is the author of the forthcoming books: The Truth About Green Business and Risk, Fiduciary Responsibility and the Laws of Nature.

Gil Friend is a provocative, thoughtful, energetic and ultimately pragmatic speaker, effective with audiences ranging from senior executives to the general public.

More About Gil Friend . . . 
Gil Friend was a founding board member of internet pioneer Institute for Global Communications, and played key or founding roles in such seminal environmental enterprises as EcoNet, GreenLine, Turner Broadcasting’s Planet Live, and Buckminster Fuller’s “World Game.” Gil Friend was also co-founder and co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, one of the nation’s leading urban ecology and economic development “think-and-do tanks,” pioneering the “green roof” trend 35 years ago.

Gil Friend has spoken on business strategy and environmental policy at the World Bank, Pacific Industrial Business Association, Sierra Business Council, Nike Training Center, National Restaurant Association, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Environment Canada (Canada’s EPA), Instituto Technologico y Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (Mexico), to name a few.

Gil Friend holds an MS in Systems Ecology/Agricultural Ecology from Antioch University, a black belt in Aikido, and is a seasoned practitioner of “The Natural Step” environmental management system.

Testimonials 3

  • “Gil is an outstanding speaker and can stimulate the kind of free-wheeling exchanges that most conferences are looking for.”

    Bruce Klafter

    Managing Director, Applied Materials

  • “Gil has keen insights into how sustainability affects the business side of a company and is one of the most eloquent speakers I know on the topic.”

    Scott Butner

    Sr. Research Scientist, Pacific Northwest National Lab

  • “Gil is one of the most thoughtful and creative thinkers I know in the area of sustainable business, and artfully bridges the scientific and technical sides the issue, the realities of the daily world of business and people and the systems in which they operate.”

    Joel Makower

    Founder/Director of strategy,

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