Blogs > Sara Gutterman > July 2012

Travels to the Edge



The magical images of conservation photographer Art Wolfe capture the boundless grace and magnificence of the world around us. Wolfe says that “it is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.”

His photos don’t just masterfully blend color, composition and perspective. They also reflect living beings—flora, fauna, and animals of all kinds—in their native state of existence in both natural and built environments.

Wolfe is as skillful at capturing the essence of an aboriginal tribesman as he is at imbuing an Arctic icicle with the life of the pre-dawn morning. But the preciousness of his work does not actually reside in his exquisitely intimate photos, or in any of his eighty published books, or even in his syndicated television show, “Travels the Edge”. The real treasure is the impetus behind his work—a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship.

Focusing his lens on the seam between habitat and inhabitant, Wolfe is able to relay a powerful story about the duty of protection and necessity of preservation without a single word.

By carefully designing and constructing each image, Wolfe is able to immortalize subjects and educate viewers. Wolfe’s architectural approach to photography enables him to translate his message into a language that those of us committed to sustainability within the building industry can certainly relate to, and his ability to delicately balance the intimate and the infinite within one image reflects a level of mastery that we can all aspire to achieve.

I encourage you to join Green Builder Media on August 8 at 11PT/2ET for an exclusive interview with Wolfe on our Impact Series: Game Changers in Sustainability webinar program. The candid discussion between our President, Ron Jones, and Wolfe will explore the changes that Wolfe has seen over the course of his prolific 30 year career in the natural and built environments, the adaptations that the occupants of those environments have been forced to make in order to survive, and the ways in which Wolfe has been able to use his art to encourage conservation efforts across the globe.

What changes have you seen in the natural and built environments around you? Write to me at, follow me on Twitter @SaraGBM.

For more information about green building and sustainable living, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @greenbuildermag and @VISIONHouseGBM for regular updates and breaking news.


Posted: 7/26/2012 11:03:31 AM by Mary Kestner | with 0 comments

Cairns and Caring

Last night, I saw a news story about Spencer West, an extraordinary man that climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania—without legs—to raise half a million dollars for a charity that leads trips for North American kids to build schools in Africa.

While reflecting on his journey, West spoke about the cairns that he encountered on the trail. He associated personally with the cairns, believing that his triumphant expedition could serve as a symbol of determination and encouragement for others when facing a daunting challenge.

West’s miraculous climb up the world’s tallest stand-alone mountain was a fitting embodiment of insights that I took away from a thought leadership summit last week half a world away at a beautiful eco-ranch in the Colorado Rockies.

During the summit, participants were asked to contemplate the concept of authentic leadership. Session facilitator Ingrid Mattsson, Senior Brand Manager at Uponor, outlined the keys to leading authentically:

Insight: blending wisdom with discernment

Initiative: having the courage to lead by example

Influence: displaying contagious vision and values

Impact: making a difference

Integrity: upholding the highest of values

Authentic leadership is about having the discipline to maximize your own potential. If the essence of authenticity is truth, then authentic leadership means being true to yourself.

But authentic leadership isn’t just about one’s own actions or ethics. It’s also about holding the space for others to reflect their own actualized selves, allowing them to enhance their own authenticity and inspiring them to care.

Leadership, like sustainability, is a choice. You’re either a leader or you’re not, and that’s reflected in the difference that you make in the world.

It’s clear that when it comes to creating a sustainable future, any one of us simply can’t do it alone. We need to engender trust and enthusiasm from those around us. The most expedient path to this goal is through authentic leadership—demonstrating passion for our purpose, consistently upholding our values, and leading with our hearts as well as our heads.

How do you define and manifest authentic leadership? Write to me at, follow me on Twitter @SaraGBM.

For more information about green building and sustainable living, visit, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @greenbuildermag and @VISIONHouseGBM for regular updates and breaking news.


Posted: 7/19/2012 9:23:11 AM by Mary Kestner | with 0 comments

About Me


Sara is the Co-Founder and CEO of Green Builder Media.  An experienced entrepreneur, investor, and sustainability consultant, Sara specializes in developing companies that are simultaneously sustainable and profitable.  Sara is a former venture capitalist and has participated in a portion of the life cycle (from funding to exit) of over 20 companies.  Sara graduated Cum Laude from Dartmouth College and holds an MBA in entrepreneurship and finance from the University of Colorado.




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