The International Living Future Institute (ILFI) today kicked off the 2017 unConference, a sold-out gathering of 1,000+ experts in green building, place making and regenerative design who are celebrating the “Genius & Courage” of a movement that is fast gaining momentum. Van Jones is opening the conference today, and Naomi Klein is the Friday morning keynote.

“We look to our keynote speakers to connect our movement with the broader social dialogue,” said Amanda Sturgeon FAIA, CEO of ILFI. “And this year is no exception. Van and Naomi will help frame a dynamic conversation about how we maintain momentum in an era of unprecedented challenge for the ideals that we hold dear – how to build communities that are socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.”

The Living Building Challenge Scales

A record-setting 22 new projects have certified in the past year, scaling the program to a total of 74 certified projects and demonstrating that the Living Building Challenge is not only possible but replicable.

This newly certified 500,000+ square feet of space includes projects in the U.S., Canada and New Zealand and ranges from Googles Chicago offices, to an award-winning multi-purpose building for one of New Zealand’s indigenous peoples, to Etsy’s Brooklyn, NY, headquarters, to NRDC’s San Francisco office — their fourth such certification. Additionally, Microsoft has confirmed it has registered their 600,000 SF Silicon Valley Campus as a Living Building Challenge project, with a focus on the Water Petal. The company looks forward to sharing more details on their progress in the coming months.

The tribal center for the Tuhoe Maori, from the North Island of New Zealand, is now certified as a Living Building; a project that represents the cultural values of the Tuhoe people. Kirsti Luke, Chief Executive, Tūhoe Te Uru Taumatua, Ngāi Tūhoe’s Tribal Authority, will share a vision for all indigenous communities around the world in her talk.

“When we first released the Living Building Challenge we were told that this level of regenerative design was not possible, not only have we proven it is but we have shown that Living Buildings can scale to all project types and sizes around the world,” said Sturgeon.

A full list of all Living Building Certified Projects, along with case studies, can be found here:

The unConference, which runs May 17-19, features a far-reaching agenda of workshops, networking opportunities and celebration of Genius & Courage. For more information, visit

Written By

ILFI Staff

The International Living Future Institute is committed to working toward a future that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.