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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Trammell Crow Growing the Earthx Family

When talking about environmental sustainability, industries like commercial tuna fisheries or big oil usually don't come to mind, but sustainability advocate and philanthropist Trammell S. Crow knows how to bring green-minded individuals and the business community to the table to achieve a common goal: saving our planet. Earthx, founded by Crow in 2010, has grown into the largest eco-celebration on Earth. Recent spinoffs include EarthxFilm and EarthxTV.

The free EarthxExpo will take place place from April 21 through 23 at Fair Park, in Dallas, bringing together, businesses, environmental organizations, conservation groups, academics, politicians, government organizations and speakers from around the world. It will feature hundreds of exhibitors, kids' activities and an adult playground. The EarthxCongress of Conferences, to be held April 19 to 23, will be their most diverse in terms of demographics, ethnicity, gender, age and topics, including wildlife, climate and justice. There will be 14 conferences on five stages featuring speakers, panel discussions, short films and more.

Crow's interest in environmental issues goes way back, but his advocacy ramped up after retiring from the Trammell Crow Company, a commercial real estate firm started by his father. Crow and fellow businesspeople fought against the largest power company in Texas' plan to build 11 coal-fired power plants in the state. Their organization, Texas Business for Clean Air, quickly grew and was able to influence Texas state legislation.

Crow has since been involved with environmental initiatives such as ConservAmerica, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, the Trust for Public Land and Texans for Clean Water. “It's been a whirlwind for the past several years,” Crow says of the Earthx growth. “When we canceled in 2020 [due to the coronavirus pandemic], we canceled 800 exhibits, conferences and films.”

Crow and the EarthxTeam held the event virtually the following year, which gave them an opportunity to grow  beyond one weekend in April. In 2022, they launched EarthxTV, a global network that promotes the environment and sustainability through original and acquired programming. “When we had to cancel everything and watch all the conferences online, it sank in that that is our future,” Crow remarks. “We started with a small budget for on-location shoots, and it got better and grew into a TV station.” As of October 2022, EarthxTV, available through Spectrum, reached 11 million homes in America and 32 million homes in Europe from Ireland to Romania.

Crow notes that Earthx Half-Earth Day, held for the first time last October, will showcase EarthxFilm as a standalone event. In 2022, they partnered with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for the U.S. premiere of Sibylle Szaggars Redford's multidisciplinary artistic performance The Way of the Rain, narrated by her husband, environmentalist and actor Robert Redford.

With Earthx2023 this April, Crow is eager to resume the event at full capacity. He feels a sense of urgency as climate change accelerates, advising, “I see beauty every day. What's the greatest thing on Earth? Each other and the natural world around us. And time's a-wastin'.”

Earthx Returns to Fair Park for 2023

Earthx2023 features three interactive educational globes, including one from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The free Business and Innovation Pavilion hosts demonstrations of what businesses are doing to balance sustainability with healthy commerce. A complimentary electric vehicle and alternative fuel show highlights environmentally sound transportation options.

New this year is a free Hemp and Rocky Mountains stage designed to educate people about hemp as an environmentally sound alternative for clothing and paper. There will also be public stages for Latin America and Rotary International.

Earthx Conferences will bring together groups such as United Nations youth delegates, 4-H chapters, hunting conservationists and Rotary Club members. The invitation-only E-Capital Summit offers financial support for business and innovation in environmental sustainability, clean technology and conservation. Earthx founder Trammell Crow states that this year, approximately 100 investing organizations will review 100 startups that have gone through incubator programs at that conference. He says, “Earthx brings unlikely players to the table. This doesn't happen anywhere else.”

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