GreenTown: The Future of Community is designed to help create sustainable communities. Since 2007, mayors and other elected officials, city managers, public works directors, parks and recreation directors, planners, developers, builders, architects, landscape architects, engineers, school leaders, teachers, healthcare professionals, environmental advocates – and many others interested in sustainable development – have gathered to hear inspiring speakers, learn from been-there case studies, and discuss actionable steps to make communities–and people and planet–healthier. At GreenTown, people learn, network, and act.


GreenTown is co-produced by a5 Inc., a Chicago-based marketing and communications firm, and Seven Generations Ahead, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build healthy, sustainable communities. Over the past ten years, we have created experiences across the Midwest in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio, including:

  • South Bend, Indiana
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • Oak Park, Illinois
  • Aurora, Illinois
  • Elgin, Illinois
  • Lake County, Illinois
  • Highland Park, Illinois
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Valparaiso, Indiana
  • Terre Haute, Indiana
  • Toledo and Lucas County, Ohio
  • Kent, Ohio

Over the past ten-plus years, GreenTown has led to the development of sustainability plans and the creation of sustainability networks. Seven Generations Ahead and a5, with partners, lead the Fox Valley Sustainability Network. And in Will County, Illinois, the GreenTown on October 26, 2018, will be the debut of a Will County Sustainability Network.

GreenTown is a zero waste experience designed to connect the dots between the public and private sectors to create a stronger platform for common ground and building community. Our aim: mix equal parts inspiration, aspiration and perspiration to be a catalyst for sustainability planning and implementation. To learn how your community can host GreenTown, contact John Harris at a5 at 312.706.2529.

Now is the time to create healthy, sustainable communities.


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GreenTown is a zero waste event.

Thanks to the efforts of Seven Generations Ahead, all waste is either composted or recycled. We are taking further steps to green the event by:

  • reducing the amount of printed material used for the conference

  • sourcing post-consumer recycled and FSC certified paper
  • reducing packaging
  • offering recycling
  • reducing linen and towel usage
  • encouraging walking to and from the venues
  • providing locally grown, organic foods where possible