The LOHAS Forum this year saw great weather and even greater people. I caught some excellent seminars, networked with some very outgoing people and learned about a few new companies and products.  Below are snippets of my day-by-day journal and overall impression.


- Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - Friday, June 24, 2011

- St. Julien Hotel, 900 Walnut Street,Boulder, Colorado 80302, United States

- 450 executive attendees


Day1, Wednesday, June 22, 2011


This day opened up with a review of the LOHAS basics and general networking/cocktail session. Since I've attended a few of these in the past and fairly competent in the LOHAS concept I skipped this session and went straight to the gift room to stock up on all the free goodies every LOHAS Attendee receives.

After loading up on gifts I went out to the courtyard to mingle under the gorgeous Boulder flatirons.   I'm not really good at networking. It's always hard to just go up to a stranger and introduce yourself but I did manage to meet a couple of interesting people and learn about why they're attending this year's LOHAS Forum. However, I soon gravitated to some familiar faces, Boulder locals who were also attending the event. Waylon Lewis of Elephant Journalgave me a private invite for an after party tomorrow night. Another friend, Quayle Hodek of Renewable Choice  was talking to a woman he randomly met 10 years before.  She had picked him up hitchhiking to Burning Man and gave him a ride to the event. They hadn't met each other since but she recognized him immediately.  After 10 years Quayle somehow still had her contact in his phone with notes on how they met! These are the kind of people that attend LOHAS Forum.

Day2, Tuesday, June 23, 2011

I got up bright and early excited for the first session. Unfortunately I didn't get up early enough for the 7am Yoga session. Breakfast was well laid out but I only had time to grab a quick egg and fruit before the opening keynote address.

Changing Yourself, Changing the World:  The Path of Purpose and Destiny

Dr. Jean Houston - Founder, Human Potential Movement


Dr. Jean Houston (Ph.D in Psychology), author, UNICEF advisor even helped Hillary Clinton write a book started the day with a discussion on change. Dr. Houston pointed out that 70% of new businesses are started by women and more women are now graduating from university than men. This means that men and women will have a new role, a new partnership working together to solve world problems.  Dr. Houston also pointed out how we have more tools to tackle problems. With social media we have a global connection which is "rescaling us for planetary proportions".  She ended by discussing how we're all on a great journey but don't know it. When the hero Camelot was out on his magnificent quests did he know he was living a great story? Dr. Houston received a standing ovation and I was well impressed and inspired by her presentation. However, after reviewing my notes I can't figure out why.  Maybe that's how inspirational moments are sometimes, you realize it during the moment but on reflection it's just a bunch of big ideas cobbled together. Nevertheless, she was a great opening speaker, a great way to kick off the conference.


Tales From The Medicine Trail

Chris Kilham - Founder, Medicine Hunter


The next speaker has the amazing job of traveling the world looking for new natural plant based medicines.  Chris Kilham, "Medicine Hunter" discovers and helps bring to market natural medicines. CNN calls him "the Indian Jones of natural medicine". Mr. Kilham discussed a few of his favorites.

  • Kava: A plant whose root has sedative properties.  Tribes in the south pacific, make a tea out of it and drink it together in a communal environment. It's often used for dispute resolution. 
  • Maca: An herb found in the Peruvian Andes.  Mr. Kilham describes it as an energizing super food that helps libido.
  • Rheidol: An herb found in southern parts of China and can be only harvested 2 months out of the year. It's used as an antidepressant that is non toxic and won't cause insomnia.
  • Cat's Claw: Grown in the Amazon, Cat's Claw is an anti-inflammatory that helps the immune system.

Mr. Kilham explained all of these plants have an important distinction from traditional pharmaceutical drugs: they can't be patent which means the drug companies can't make money off it and hence don't promote it. In fact, many of them create misleading reports to instill fear in alternative herbal medications. Mr. Kilham finished with stating: "our time requires boldness and energy. Maybe some of these plants will throw us into positive work".  I really enjoyed Mr. Kilham's presentation which like Dr. Houston, received a standing ovation (2 for 2!). What I thought particularly interesting is his take on the pharmaceutical industry and how pharmaceuticals have come to dominate our illnesses and our cures. This is a big problem in the US and I see it as a growing problem in Japan.

 The Latest LOHAS Consumer Trends: Point/Counterpoint

Steve French - Managing Partner, Natural Marketing Institute
Gwynne Rogers -   LOHAS Business Director, Natural Marketing Institute

Our last speaker before lunch was from NMI who annually presents their marketing research findings on the LOHAS market. The survey covers over a half million people from 23 countries and includes 12 years of trended data. For this presentation, they decided to, like paper vs plastic, provide both POINT and COUNTERPOINT on the findings presented -

- What effect has the recession had on the LOHAS market?

POINT: Green is as strong as ever. Brands like Seventh Generation have emerged stronger than ever. The recession has helped us understand better why people buy green. Green is often not consumer's first reason they buy it's the usefulness of the product.

COUNTERPOINT: Consumers are more price sensitive. 70% say their purchases are determined by price.  The willingness to pay a premium for a product is half of '07 levels.

- Are we getting greener?

POINT: 80% of those surveyed are green in some way but their motivations to buy green are different. More people are conserving water, taking their own bags to the grocery store, biking and unplugging electronics.

COUNTERPOINT: We will never be 100% LOHAS. 2/3 of the LOHAS market will continue to be early adopters.

- Should I focus on greening my product or operations?

POINT:  Your product is your brand. If it's quasi-natural 80% of consumers will figure this out and abandon the product. 30% of consumers associate sustainability with greener ingredients. This number is growing. Sustainable packaging is also important to consumers.

COUNTERPOINT: With some products the process may leave more of a footprint. For example, chewing gum has a much larger operations footprint (after sourcing, producing and distributing) than the product itself. Greener operations may also provide strategic advantages over your competitors.

- What are the global LOHAS opportunities?

POINT:  The US has the highest proportion of LOHAS consumers. Many markets like energy and transportation are growing and the US is still the largest economy in the world.

COUNTERPOINT: The developing world offers great opportunity. There are 164 million LOHAS consumers in China, 96 million in India. The US only has 44 million. The US is the most price sensitive.  The developing world is craving more information about green.

- How do you balance providing information to consumers vs information overload?

POINT: Consumers want to know the facts. Many are confused.

COUNTERPOINT: There are 375 green certification seals. 50% of those surveyed think there are too many certifications.  60% would like a universal green certification seal.

NMI always has great information but even though they claim to survey over 23 countries I always feel it's a little biased and weighted for the US marketplace. It's still good information and clearly presented.

After all those graphs and marketing data given by NMI I was ready for lunch. But first a SLAMpoet by Leo "Lucifury" Wilson. You can catch one of the poems he gave called Garden Of Gaiah here {link5}. Mr. Lucifury also received a standing ovation.

OK, now for lunch.... Wait, one more announcement? Come on!

LOHAS Business Competition Winners


LOHAS Business Competition Winners. Three finalist for a business competition that awards the winner $1000 in cash and $10,000 in marketing assistance. The final three startup companies in this competition were 1) runa.org - a fair trade caffeinated energy drink with a social mission to protect the Amazon. 2) maternova.net - an interesting new company, and the one I voted for, that puts together pre-bundled medical supplies that aid in child birth for doctors and nurses in third world countries. 3) Kaivalya (insideoutfreedom.wordpress.com) - has the ambitious goal of re-educating our penitentiary system by teaching inmates mediation, yoga and business skills.

The LOHAS attendees were asked to vote on their phone with a special social media app designed specifically for this year's LOHAS Forum. Unfortunately, there was a technical glitch and no one could get on the network to vote. So we did it the old fashion way by raising our hands. Maternova won by a large margin.

By the way, the application was a good idea in theory but still a bit too new. Even for the LOHAS folk. In a mission to go paperless the only way you can view the program was through the app on your iPhone or for everyone else, logging on the website. Most people didn't care for this and ended up printing the schedule out on their own.  Many were confused and had to ask for assistance. Also, we were able to tweet and upload photos on the application but I didn't see too many taking advantage of this social media feature.  Maybe people wanted to talk to actual people instead of following their twitter feed...  maybe.

Anyways, off to lunch and more networking! -

After a tasty steamed salmon, tomato soup and vegetables for lunch, (all organic of course) I caught a few breakout sessions.

Welcome to Futuretopia

Matthew Power - Editor in Chief, Green Builder Magazine


The first one called, Welcome to Futuretopia, was presented by Mathew Power, editor in chief of Green Building Magazine. He gave us some strategies for future product design techniques. For example, design a product from the bottom up not the top down. (Why do we need a microwave with so many buttons when most people only use one or two?) An upgrade isn't necessarily an innovation. Don't ignore the hidden costs (how to dispose of it, how it's made etc). If it sounds too good to be true it probably is, Design for upcycle (like a machine that melts used rubber tires to make roads). I really enjoyed Mr. Power's presentation because he offered a lot of practical advice on how products should be designed to be successful. Hopefully as technology advances some of his ideas will be used.

The Growing Sheconomy 

Diane MacEachern - Founder & CEO, Big Green Purse (moderator)
Gretchen Bleiler - Olympic Snowboarder
Tina Wells 
- CEO, Buzz Marketing Group
Margaret McAllister - Co-Founder, Red Kite Business Advisors 

The next session was about the growing "Sheeconomy" which was interesting but had a lot of what Dr. Houston already said in her opening presentation. Women are growing in the workforce and will be able to offer different point of views on some of our biggest challenges facing us in traditional male dominated sectors like business and politics. I did get my picture taken with one of the panelist, silver medalist in the 2006 winter Olympics and 4 time gold medalist and the Winter X Games, Gretchen Bleiler.   Her lists of accomplishments are humbling.

So You Think You Can Pitch? Prove it!

Katy Saeger - Founder, Saeger Media Group (Moderator)
Terri  Trespicio - Sr. Editor, Whole Living
Pilar Gerasimo - Editor in Chief, Experience Life Magazine 
Waylon Lewis - Founder, elephantjounal.com



I also attended the So You Think You Can Pitch? session which had three magazine editors as judges. People from the audience stood up and presented or "pitched" their company and the judges critiqued and offered advice on how to make their pitch better. I was excited for this one but a bit disappointed because the judges critiqued on the basis of how to get in their magazine. I didn't want to get in their magazine. I just want a polished 15 second explanation of my company when someone asks what is CoHo? So far I have, "CoHo or Colorado House is a trade company focused on products in the Rocky Mountain region and working with clients in Japan." (They're then suppose to ask me what kind of products) "Our products fall under three categories   1) We trade in experiences such as educational study tours on sustainable concepts in the Boulder/Denver area. 2) We trade in products such as organic & natural based cosmetics and environmentally friendly toys. And 3) and the reason I'm here at this event, we trade in ideas. I plan to video a few of the LOHAS sessions, translate them into Japanese and distribute them online."  I was too shy to stand up and pitch though. Didn't seem like the right audience. Maybe next time...

That night I had dinner with Freddie Ravel at the wonderful Kitchen Upstairs.  Mr. Ravel has the honor of performing the closing ceremony.  Over tomato bisque soup and roasted chicken he explained to me his music philosophy. 

 photo by www.elephantjournal.com

Essentially he takes four elements of music and shows how those elements are in everything we do in life. Melody is our leader. Harmony is how we work with others. Rhythm is how we pace ourselves and Score is how we put it all together.  If we were to apply this concept to Japan we can see the country has great Harmony, good Rhythm has a Score but, according to Mr. Ravel, needs to find its Melody again. I hope a future leader is reading this LOHAS report and will become that Melody.

After dinner with Mr. Ravel I went to my friend, Waylon's "official unofficial LOHAS after, after party". Unfortunately the sponsor he had for the event mysteriously disappeared and I was left to pay for my own drinks. These are the kind of situations you sometimes find yourself in at LOHAS. I paid my bill and went home. 

Day3, Friday, June 24, 2011

I was excited and a bit nervous for today's events because today had the sessions I planned to videotape. I wanted to make sure it would be as perfect as possible and there were a lot of small details I had to work out before hand. My mind wouldn't stop replaying those details over and over the night before. I wasn't able to get a good night sleep.

I must have arrived early because there was no one around. I wondered if Waylon's party turned out to be a big hit after all and everyone had slept in. I walked by a room and inside they were doing a morning meditation session. I decided to join.

The session was called Heart Rhythm Meditation.  We concentrated on listening to our heartbeat while practicing deep controlled breathing exercises. The session cleansed my mind and rekindle my energy. After 45 minutes I was ready to take on the final day of the Forum.

The Business of Living -- on Purpose

Dan Millman - Author & Teacher


This morning's opening keynote speaker was Dan Millman former world champion athlete and author of the famous book, Way of the Peaceful Warrior along with many other self help books. Mr. Millman at age 60 ran out on stage and performed a handstand on a chair. He then told us that as a successful athlete and coach he realized that athletics could only bring success so far. He wanted to learn how he could bring success into other aspects of his life such as business and family.  He soon discovered that to be successful in life you have to be good at what you do and be good at promoting yourself. With these two thoughts in mind Mr. Millman taught us his idea on four purposes of life.  1) Learn Life Lessons. Life is a school and it's impossible to fail if you learn something from the experience. Failure is a stepping stone. 2) Find your career AND your calling. Your career doesn't need to be your calling. A career is to bring in income. You don't have to love it. A calling is something you love.  Also doing a kind thing for someone else can bring more fulfillment than anything else. 3) There are 43 different paths up a mountain. Find your own path. (not sure why there are 43. Guess I'll have to read his book). 4) Attend to the moment. Live the now and try to do everything as best as you can. On this last point he recounted a story where while as an athlete in a gymnastics competition he completed a perfect dismount. After the competition as he was walking back to the locker room his coach told him that it was a sloppy performance. Mr. Millman asked him why. He had a perfect dismount. His coach told him after he finished he threw his sweater in his bag without folding it. "You practice gymnastics" his coach told him "I practice everything". Gretchen, the Olympic snowboarder I met the day before was sitting next to me and told me she loved his book and the movie based off of it, Peaceful Warrior.  After Mr. Millman's talk Gretchen had to head back to Aspen. I was sad to see her go. Here is a clip of her gold medal run from the last X games These are the kind of people you meet at LOHAS.

The Shift We Have Been Waiting For; How to plan for extraordinary change 

John Petersen - Founder, Arlington Institute

The next presenter, John Peterson, "futurist" and founder of the non-profit organization, The Arlington Institute, spoke on how to plan for extraordinary change. This was an in depth look scientifically of the changes ahead. Honestly, I have to research his explanations on why there are galactic solar changes causing more sun spots, longer streams of the aurora borealis and a flip of the magnetic poles.  Why in the next 10 years we will witness technological advancement 80 times more than what we have witnessed over the last century.  But John did have 5 key points on how we can prepare ourselves for the coming change. 1) If you haven't thought about it you haven't thought about it. Think! 2) If you don't think about it before it happens all of the thinking is almost lost. 3) Every event derives from precursor events which leaves tracks. 4) Accession and understanding information is key. 5) Extraordinary events will require extraordinary approaches. Essentially what Mr. Peterson is telling us is there is a big change coming. Bigger than mankind has seen before. To survive we need to be agile, innovative, have foresight, adaptability and be able to learn from the past. All of this is common sense to me but the way he explained why was very technical and complex. Mr. Peterson was one of the speakers I recorded. If you want to learn more I'll have the videos posted soon, stay tuned.

Authenticity and Anarchy:  A Civic Approach to Branding That Drives Behavior Change

John Rooks - CEO, SOAP Group


Following Mr. Peterson was a presenter that I've heard of before but have never seen. Ted Ning recommended I record his presentation (by the way, I managed to pull Ted aside long enough to ask him a couple questions. See side bar for his answers). John Rooks CEO of the marketing company called, The Soap Group, presented on how large company conglomerates are making green mainstream by using strategies like "green is easy", "green is cool" Mr. Rooks claims that the products that are marketed to us day in day out, 24-7 effect us more than we care to admit. Companies, Mr. Rook claims, really do fabricate what we see and think. Kind of like the Matrix To become a sustainable world we need to realize this and take advantage of it when it comes to marketing green concepts in an authentic way. Rooks offers three suggestions to do this. 1) Turn it inside out. It's not what consumers say about your product it's what your product says about consumers. 2) Be transparent. What about designing labels that show the entire cost of the product + cost to market it? People may realize in some cases they're paying 90% for the brand. 3) Create competition within the company to be sustainable. Grow your sustainable mission from the inside. I loved Rooks presentation. It was an amazing deep discussion on marketing and branding and the way he presented was outstanding. He didn't even use a clicker!

The next few sessions after lunch, Building a Sustainable Economy through Public Policy & The Power of Storytelling were unfortunately unfulfilling.  The first one was a panel of companies that advocated getting involved with organizations that promote policy related to their industry by joining them on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The second one played 3 or 4 of his commercials or infomercials about ecotourism.  Both to me didn't seem relevant and felt like something I could learn from a book at the library.  You can't win them all at LOHAS Forum. You need to choose your breakout sessions wisely.


Accelerating the World's Most Unreasonable Entrepreneurs

Daniel Epstein - President of Unreasonable Institute & CEO of SWAE Sports


Luckily my next choice, Accelerating the World's Most Unreasonable Entrepreneurs by Daniel Epstein, President of the Unreasonable Institute, was a winner. There was a bit of last minute change of venue for Mr. Epstein's presentation and a bit of panic on my part because I couldn't find the session and was worried my camera guy couldn't either. I found both Mr. Epstein and my camera crew outside in the courtyard tent enjoying the Colorado weather and casually waiting to begin.


Mr. Epstein's has developed a program that selects entrepreneurs from around the world and gives them all the resources they need to help get their startup company off the ground.  He takes the finalist to Boulder for a 6 week intensive that offers mentorship, business training and access to capital funding to help his "intellectual misfits use business to take social causes to scale". They all live together in Boulder with their mentors and peers to improve idea collaboration and team synergy.  Mr. Epstein purposely designs the program to be unstructured as much as possible so that there is an environment for creativity. I read about this program in the local paper so it was great to meet Mr. Epstein and get a better understating of it.  The finalist selected had just arrived to Boulder and were with Mr. Epstein to present their business ideas  Some of the finalists, like Moses from Uganda have never even been on a plane before let alone attend a LOHAS event in Boulder!  His eyes were wide open but he spoke confidently and articulately about his young company which leases high efficient kilns to poor families in Africa, buys back the waste from the kiln to make charcoal which they then sell to local businesses. Money they earn from this is used to plant trees.


Before the final speaker at this year's LOHAS Forum, Ted Ning came out with a few words about what he hopes we get from the conference. He wanted to make sure we take in the moment and realize the now. He said about the conference "it's not something you leave here, it's something you take on. " He then introduced the closing keynote speaker (followed by Freddie Ravel's musical performance), CEO of outdoor clothing manufacturer, Patagonia, Mr. Casey Sheahan.  

Conscious Leadership Is An Inside Job

Casey Sheahan - CEO, Patagonia


Everyone stood on their feet to welcome Mr. Sheahan and his views on Conscious Leadership.  He started his presentation by recounting a personal experience he had 3 years ago. At the beginning of the recession it was apparent to him that he was going to have to lay off a good amount of his employees for Patagonia to survive. This was no easy task since he viewed his employees as family.  He told his wife about his problem and she asked him if the decision he was trying to make was based in fear. Was he doing it because he was afraid? He realized it was. Not only was he afraid, so was the rest of the country which looked like it may be on the brink of economic collapse. So he decided to make his decision based on love instead of fear and he got creative. He figured out ways to redesign his employee's roles so he wouldn't have to lay them off.  Amazingly, the last three years turned out to be the strongest three years in the company's history. If he didn't have the work force on hand to meet the unexpected demand he wouldn't have been able to succeed as well as they did. He then showed us his mind map which lists the values he has in life. Mr. Sheahan encouraged everyone to draw theirs and live their life off it.


The interesting thing about Patagonia and the reason why I admire the company is they were one of the first brands to take on transparency. They realized if they didn't tell their story, that for example the large carbon footprint for a button on their jackets, someone else would. Even if some of their products weren't the most green they had to tell their customers and educated them on what they were doing to become a more responsible and sustainable company. Their customers appreciated them for this and loved the company and its products more.


Message for Japan & Asia from Ted Ning

- How does this years forum compare to previous years? Do you see any changes?

I think the forum has worked on bringing a more intimate element to networking and providing a stronger sense of LOHAS community for business leaders. It helps them recognize that they are not alone in the world and that there are others who are fighting the good fight in different areas. The blend of personal and professional has always been a baseline for LOHAS.


- What trends do you envision coming to the LOHAS marketplace in Japan and Asia over the next few years?

We all recognize that the world is in a challenging place. I think it is time for busineses to step up to the plate and start conversations with consumers and not only focus on the bottom line but also on how best to serve the community. The culture of transparency, and interaction is rapidly developing and if companies cannot keep up to speed with the demands of an evolving LOHAS consumer base they will fall behind in more ways than one.


Overall, the last three days was full of inspiration, new ideas and new people. I came home with a lot of new concepts and ways of doing business in a sustainable manner that I plan to use for my own company. I also came home with a big stack of business cards that I plan to follow up on through email... Email? Why does email now seem so rudimentary? Dr. Houston said at the beginning of the event and was repeated throughout the conference, "we have the opportunity to play in the greatest change in human history" I feel our planet has the right people to harness this change and turn our future into a prosperous one. Where we need to improve is our relationships between one another. We need to connect in a way so this enthusiastic, bright energy I feel here at LOHAS can effectively and efficiently travel through each and every one of us on a global scale. This will give us the momentum and platform we need to properly address the coming changes. We can no longer do it on our own.

on 2011年9月23日 in お知らせ・最新情報