Exchange creative juices, tall stories and radical strategies for how we can repair our broken world.

Be inspired by short sharp talks & mingle with folks immersed-in or curious about making what they do more sustainable.

November GreenUps - Community Empowerment

Tuesday November 4th (6pm - 10pm)

The Commons
32 Burton St, Darlinghurst

RSVP: Meetup

At this month's GreenUps, next Tuesday 4th of November, we talking about Community Empowerment, exploring the ideas around how to develop connection, resilience and strength at a community level.

So please rsvp on the meetup page if you plan to come along to The Commons Bar on Burton St in Darlinghurst, and bring your community building stories to share with other like minded people, and listen to two community leaders as they share their community empowerment experiences.

Lance Leiber - Transition Bondi

Lance is a founding member of Bondi's active and vibrant branch of the global Transition Towns movement. as a tireless leader in his community spreading the sustainability and resilience message, Lance's got plenty to share about how to build and maintain strong community at a grass roots level.

Tom Nockolds - Community Power Agency & Pingala

Tom is the director of the Community Power Agency a NFP set up to support groups wanting to set up community renewable energy (CRE) projects. Tom will talk about the community energy movement and also about Pingala a new Sydney-based community renewable project.

Thea Soutar - Youth Food Movement & CSL

Thea leads the Sydney chapter of the The Youth Food Movement, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to growing a generation of young Australians with the capacity and motivation to support a healthy, secure and just food future. Thea is also a current fellow of the Centre for Sustainability Leadership, and will speak about CSL and her experience in the 2014 Fellowship program.

So, what is Empowerment?

Empowerment is understood as a multi-dimensional social process that helps people gain control over their own lives. It fosters power in people for use in their own lives, their communities and in their society, by acting on issues they define as important.

Please rsvp on the Meetup page if you are planning to come along, so we know numbers.

October GreenUps - Very Bike-e!

Tuesday October 7nd (6pm - 10pm)

80 George St, Redfern

RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Purchase Tickets

Eventbrite - Very Bike-E! - October GreenUps explores electric bicycles

Get along to the October GreenUps and see what happens when you add some electricity to your pedal power!

We will be at WORK-SHOP a warehouse of maker goodness located at 80 George St, Redfern, alongside the cycleway. Park using our bicycle valet and even get a tune-up from the crew at The Rolling Fix. On the night you can ride all kinds of E-Bikes on offer from Sydney Electric Bikes and Glow Worm Bicycles. Create your own electricity on Milk Crate's pedal powered sound system...but don't over do it or your favourite tune will be out of sync!

This month we have teamed up with Alternative Technology Association a not-for-profit organisation that exists to connect, inspire and assist people to make sustainable choices in their homes and communities.

Our speakers on the night include Maurice Wells a veritable electric bike guru and Professsor Chris Rissel a cycle advocate whose goal is developing a non-culture of cycling where hopping on a bike is assumed to be the easy and convenient option for regular trips and becomes the default choice. Expect delicious eats with the stylish folks from trolleyd offering up a tasty selection of drinks and the usual great GreenUps crowd.

Please pre-purchase your ticket on Eventbrite to avoid any disappointment.

September GreenUps - The Psychology of Climate Change

Tuesday September 2nd (6pm - 10pm)

Freda's Bar & Canteen
107-109 Regent Street, Chippendale

RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email | Purchase Tickets

Eventbrite - September GreenUps - The Psychology of Climate Change

Within the recent and turbulent history of climate science and renewable energy technology, it's become utterly clear that emotion, ideology and opinion take precedence over science and engineering, when it comes to the public understanding of climate science, and our response to its implications. Logically this might seem counter intuitive but this isn't as odd as we might expect - in fact, modern research around science communication and psychology suggest good reasons why this might be expected.

As resistance to change and fears persist in the general community, understanding the role of psychology in our comprehension of this most fundamental and uniquely difficult existential challenge is key to developing an effective response.

For our September GreenUps we've gathered a fine group of speakers, from the worlds of clean tech, climate science, psychology and philosophy to help lead the conversation on this most interesting of topics.

Dr Tim Rayner - Tim is a philosopher and disruptive thinker with a focus on the Philosophy of Change. His most recent book is Life Changing: A Philosophical Guide. Tim is also a Film-maker Coalition of the Willing (2010). His current project is One Million Acts of Innovation.

Sally Gillespie - Sally is a doctoral candidate at the University of Western Sydney researching psychological responses to climate change engagement. She practiced as a Jungian psychotherapist for over twenty years, and served as the President of the CG Jung Society of Sydney from 2006 to 2010. Sally is the author of Living the Dream and The Book of Dreaming.

Eleanor Glenn - Eleanor is a Values, framing and communication strategist with a background in environmental sciences and government policy. Eleanor is currently doctoral candidate with the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS. PhD topic: "Exploring climate change through dialogue"

Ketan Joshi - Ketan is a renewable energy researcher and communications officer, working at Australia's largest specialist renewable energy company. He's written for The Guardian, Climate Spectator and Renew Economy on issues ranging from community engagement through to wind farm output. Ketan studied psychology and neuroscience at university.

I hope you will join us at Freda's in Chippendale (a short walk from Central Station) next Tuesday 2nd of September for what is shaping up to be a very interesting evening.

Please pre-purchase your ticket on Eventbrite to avoid any disappointment.

August GreenUps - Sustain the faith

Tuesday August 5th (6pm - 8pm), with drinks to follow after...

Seminar Room F205, Building F - COFA (UNSW Colleage of Fine Arts) / then drinks at The Rose Shamrock and Thistle
Cnr. Green Street and Oxford Street, Paddington
RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email

Greenies. Environmentalism. Sustainability. Pretty regular stuff right?

This month we depart with tradition and invite you to paticipate in a conversation exploring the intersection of spirituality and sustainability.

What is the common ground between environmentalism and various beliefsystems? We've invited a diverce group of thinkers (some might say a 'broad church') to lead our discussion and share their thoughts on what their faith shares with environmentalism.

Rhonda Itaoui - The Islamic Sciences & Research Academy Australia has a wealth of experience in educating diverse audiences about environmental ethics from an Islamic perspective. Rhonda is regularly involved in delivering education to student audiences about the environmental principles that underpin Islam.

Peter Thompson - Peter convenes the DharmaGaia Fellowship and Meetup, Peter is a Zen Buddhist whose practice is informed by an understanding of humanity's place in the ecosphere, one which many of you will share.

Paul Newman - Paul is a lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, whose research interests include sustainability and cultural and natural landscapes, with particular reference to Aboriginal culture. Paul has both studied and embodied an ethos of sustainability, one which Aboriginal people have been practising for thousands of years.

Thea Ormerod - President of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change. Thea brings an activist-informed perspective with years of experience in the field of social justice, and has most recently been involved in interfaith action around Maules Creek coal mine.

Join us for possibly our first non-secular conversation - and Tweet or post questions on our Facebook page.

If you've ever looked at a church and wondered what it means for environmentalism - this night is for you!

If you have specific questions you would like to ask our guests please email me.

Divestment & The Unburnable Carbon Dilemma

Tuesday July 1st (6pm - 10pm)

The Shelbourne Hotel
200 Sussex Street, Sydney
RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email

If we actually dug out of the ground and burned all the known fossil fuel reserves it would spell catastrophe for life on earth – that’s the fundamental premise of the Unburnable Carbon dilemma.

The issue is that a lot of money has been invested on the assumption that the world’s carbon reserves, particularly abundant coal here in Australia, can be commercialised and bought to market, but the risks are now apparent both to the environmentalists who’ve raised the alarm and the asset owners who are financially responsible for these stranded assets.

For July GreenUps we’ve invited some bright financial minds to share their insights on this issue. What is the big banks and other institutional asset owner’s awareness around this issue, and how can we as concerned citizens and engaged stakeholders, make them take responsibility and act on this catastrophic risk?

Speakers on the night include:

Simon O’Connor is the CEO of the Responsible Investment Association Australasia, an industry body that represents 150 investors managing over $500 billion. Simon is an economist, having worked in various roles at the convergence of economics, finance and sustainability, from consulting to industry, investment analyst, to recent work within the NGO sector, before joining RIAA in 2013. RIAA works with its members to help investors better understand how environmental and social factors impact upon investment returns.

Michael Salvatico - Vice President MSCI ESG. MSCI is a leading provider of investment decision support tools. The MSCI Global Sustainability Index competitively ranks companies across a set of ESG (Environmental, Social and corporate Governance) signals to establish best practice and identify exposure.  Michael is an established research analyst specialising in portfolio analysis and investment strategy and was a cofounder in the Climakind initiative to reduce global carbon emissions by promoting a price on carbon.

Simon Sheikh is the founder of Future Super, a soon to be launched fossil fuel free superannuation fund. Having been the National Director of GetUp and a Financial Analyst at the NSW Treasury Simon will talk about practical steps that Australians can take to shift their money out of fossil fuels.

If you have specific questions you would like to ask our guests please email me.

Recycling - the pathway to sustainability

Tuesday June 3rd (6pm - 10pm)

Freda's Bar & Canteen
107-109 Regent Street, Chippendale
RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email

For the June GreenUps we're heading to the fabulous Freda's in Chippendale, where we'll be talking all things Recycling and the Circular Economy.

To share their knowledge, experience and stories, we've three great guests.  


Alex Serpo - Publisher of, Australia’s only dedicated website serving the recycling industry. Alex will give us an understanding of the Circular Economy, and explore the premise that 'Recycling is Sustainability'.

JP Williams - Compost Revolution Commander-in-Chief Three Council Project. JP will tell us all about the wonders of organic recycling, the compost revolution and the potential of our 'city of soil'.

Anna Minns - CEO Terracycle Australia. TerraCycle is a highly-awarded, international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into affordable, innovative products. Anna will share the Teracycle story and all about creating recycling markets.

The 3 lighting talks will be followed by a Q&A conversation. Talks will commence at 7pm. then stick around for more talking, dinner and drinks. 

RSVP: Facebook or Meetup or reply to this email.

NOTE: We will be asking for a donation on the door to cover costs, and if you have specific questions you would like to ask our guests please email me.

Beyond Green - The Blue Economy, what is it?

Tuesday April 1st (6pm - 10pm)

The Carbon Reduction Institute
Level 12, 100 Miller Street, North Sydney
RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email

For our April event GreenUps is collaborating with the Carbon Reduction Institute, to host a night exploring the concept of The Blue Economy.

The “Blue Economy”, a term coined by author and entrepreneurGunter Pauli in 2004, is seen as a progressive metamorphosis from the Green Economy, that sees the task ahead as one in which we need to create more good, instead of less bad, using a strategic, opportunity-driven rationale to connect the environmental, social and financial. Inspired by Nature (In nature there is no waste or inefficiency) fundamentally the Blue Economy is a business response to a changing economic landscape in which resource depletion and social costs are unsustainable, and therefore uneconomic and unacceptable.

To help us better understand the vision of the Blue Economy we got three distinguished speakers; Ian DunlopDr Martin A Blake and Rob Cawthorne, who will explain why ‘sustainability’ and ‘green’ have become taboo words among Australian corporates, the significance of the Blue Economy to the Australian landscape, and why they feel there is a need for a new business speak.

The event will also announce the NSW launch of Blue Australasia.

This carbon neutral event will be hosted by Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI), at their headquarters in North Sydney.

CRI will kindly supply carbon neutral wine, beer and nibbles for the evening.


Dr. Martin A. Blake - Sustainability Expert

Dr. Martin A. Blake is the founder of Blue Australasia. He is named one of the Top 100 Global Sustainability Leaders of 2011 - 2013, is a global sustainability visionary and strategist, an expert in Blue Economy and integrative design, chairman, company director, speaker and mentor. He holds a working portfolio of board directorships and advisory roles encompassing Asia, Australia, Canada, the USA and Europe. 

In addition to being the Founder of Blue Australasia, he is the owner of Blake Advisory, the Co-founder and Director of the “be sustainable” group of companies, the Founder and Chair of Carbon Zero Solutions, a Non-Executive Director of Sabien Technology, Ecologic Transportation, and Amida Recruitment, a Patron of Eradicating Ecocide, as well as a Strategic Advisor to the Boards of CarbonSystems, MOSS (Models of Success and Sustainability), and The Upcycle the Gyres Society. 

Dr Blake chairs and advises a multitude of strategic groups, all focused on the development and deployment of energy efficient infrastructure. He is an Adjunct Professor of Sustainable Business Development at both Griffith University and the University of Southern Queensland, and is also a Visiting Fellow at the Business School of the University of Hull in the UK. 

Throughout the course of his career, Dr Blake has been involved in sustainability practices on the islands of Bahrain, Singapore, Bali, Guam and Dominica. 

Dr Blake is internationally recognised as having designed and deployed one of the most successful energy conservation programmes in the world, saving millions of pounds annually and winning multiple National and International awards. 

Rob Cawthorne - Carbon Expert

Rob is the Managing Director of the Carbon Reduction Institute (CRI) which has the mission and vision of creating a low carbon economy whereby consumers can support products and services which have reduced climate change impacts.

CRI administers the NoCO2 certification program, which has become and remains Australia’s most heavily subscribed climate change certification program.

Of the many professionals that entered the carbon market in its embryonic stages, not many were better placed than Rob. From 2000 Rob was involved in the development of Australia's first emissions trading scheme: The Hunter River Salinity Trading Scheme. This undertaking is often considered to be one of the first working models of an environmental / emissions trading scheme in the world. Rob continues to manage this scheme today. 

Rob's practical understanding of emissions trading has him present and consult to corporations which have both significant risks and opportunities in a carbon constrained future.

Ian T. Dunlop - Energy Expert

A Cambridge educated engineer, with a particular interest in the interaction of corporate governance, corporate responsibility and sustainability.

Ian Dunlop was formerly a senior international oil, gas and coal industry executive. He chaired the Australian Coal Association in 1987-88, chaired the Australian Greenhouse Office Experts Group on Emissions Trading from 1998-2000 and was CEO of the Australian Institute of Company Directors from 1997-2001.

He is a member of the Club of Rome and a member of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Climate Change Task Force.

Fellow of the Centre for Policy Development and Chair of Safe Climate Australia he advises internationally on climate, energy and sustainability.

Exploring the Future of Renewables

Tuesday March 11th (6pm - 10pm)

The Shelbourne Hotel
200 Sussex Street, Sydney
RSVP: Meetup | Facebook | Email

The federal government recently launched a formal review of Australia's 20% Renewable Energy Target (The RET), headed by a well know climate change sceptic - Dick Warburton.

Given that the RET and its associated instruments have been the single biggest driver of renewable energy uptake in Australia, any reduction or modification to the RET will dramatically effect the fragile and battered domestic renewable industry and significantly hamper our national approach to addressing climate change.

With this very real existential threat to the RET at hand we thought it would be timely to have a discussion about the current renewables landscape and the potential consequences of any reduction to the existing targets.

To shed some light on this we invited Dr Mark Diesendorf of the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW and Lindsay Soutar, National Director of Solar Citizens and 100% Renewable, to attempt to enlighten us and guide us through some of the murky and confusing issues around our national energy policy and the future of renewables in Australia.


Mark Diesendorf is the Deputy Director of Institute of Environmental Studies at University of New South Wales. He teaches and researches on ecologically sustainable and socially just development and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. He is the author of 'Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy' (2007) and 'Climate Action: A Campaign Manual for Greenhouse Solutions' ( 2009). His new book, 'Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change', has just been published by UNSW Press in Australia and New Zealand, and will be published for the rest of the world by Earthscan in April 2014.

Lindsay Soutar is the National Director of Solar Citizens - Lindsay became familiar with the hopes and challenges of households (and community groups) going solar through her work at renewable energy organisation 100% Renewable of which Solar Citizens is an offshoot. There she experienced first hand the continual solar-coaster of changes to solar programs to Australia, and the efforts of the big power companies trying to stop the further expansion of solar. She recently started the process to install solar on her Sydney home and thinks it just makes sense that Australia puts a panel on every rooftop!

Join GreenUps

If you'd like to stay informed about all that's going on at GreenUps, including what's happenig at upcoming events, please register below:

About GreenUps

GreenUps – green drinking to inspire green thinking.

Green Drinks International happens in more than 45 countries and 448 cities around the world. The Sydney Chapter, GreenUps is an informal monthly drinks night that helps support the creative, inspired and lively community of people who already immersed or curious about sustainability.

The first GreenUps was held at (our spiritual home) The Falconer Cafe in March 2009 and we’ve painted Sydney-town green every first Tuesday of the month (except the Januaries) ever since.

What happens?

Most months we choose a GreenUps theme. Themes have included food, fashion, film, art, design, business, investment, activism, bikes as well as our less formal ‘grab-a-drink-and-hang-out’ nights.

People generally rock-up at around 6.30, grab a drink or two, listen to our speakers and get to know each other. Great things have come out of GreenUps events – jobs, new projects, new wardrobes, prizes, inspiration, and even true love.

Does it cost anything?

Not usually. GreenUps is hosted by an independent committee of diverse individuals, no-one (except maybe the venues) makes any money from GreenUps so on the few occasion that we ticket an event or ask for a donation it is to cover costs like food or drinks at a non-pub/bar venue.

Who should come?

Anyone and everyone! Artists, filmmakers, scientists, lawyers, gardeners, Government folk, corporate folk, Not-for-profit folk, fashionistas, foodies, hippies, media and just about everyone in between come to GreenUps – that’s the whole point.

You can RSVP via Facebook or MeetUps but unless otherwise indicated, just feel free to rock-up.

What we’re not that into…

More than anything GreenUps should be fun. So we kindly ask that if you have an idea for a speaker, event theme, cause, event or product to promote that you get in touch with one of the committee members well ahead of time.

We not so keen on the idea of GreenUps being a great big spruik and want to maintain it’s uniqueness. So please don’t bring fliers or other promo material to events, you are of course more than welcome to post discussion topics and other relevant info to our facebook or meetups pages.

The nitty gritty

When is it?

GreenUps is always the first Tuesday of the month – except for January (imagine if it fell on New Year’s Day!)

Where is it?

Wherever possible GreenUps chooses to support independent bars and venues, however due to our ever-increasing numbers we can’t always fit everyone in.

If you have a cracker idea for a venue we want to know about it! We can’t afford to hire the place, but we can certainly bring a bunch of business on a Tuesday evening.

What time?

GreenUps kicks-off at around 6-6.30pm and winds-up around 9.30-10pm.

If we have speakers they will usually take the floor at around 7pm. We try to keep the formal parts of the evening to an hour maximum so that you get to talk to people.

Who’s behind this thing?

GreenUps is an Encoporated Not-for-Profit Association. It's overseen by a board of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We are passionate about sustainability and truly believe that it takes all types of people and interesting ideas to solve the big complicated problems with which we are all faced.

GreenUps Board Members:

  • Ben Ward
  • Jess Miller
  • Liane Rossler
  • Pete Dowson
  • Alastair Walton
  • Saskia Howard

The GreenUps events are a collaborative process. We rely on the help of a dedicated core of volunteers and often co-host events in conjunction with other creative and passionate groups.

Special Thanks must go to:

Dan Cass, Dave Gravina, Phill Stubbs, Kate Betwell, Mell Flanigan, Merissa Guber, Shelby Burns, Katherine Lustig, Bethan Harris,

What’s the plan?

At the moment we’re giving a lot of thought as to how we make GreenUps even better.

We’re looking for ways to formalise the group so we can do even cooler things (things that require public liability insurance and some money), have volunteers involved, Co-Curators, and perhaps pay someone to help us with the day-to-day admin.

We’re really open to your ideas and feedback as to how this could happen (and also what you wouldn’t like to see happen). So please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Get in touch

You can contact us via email: Join the GreenUps facebook group. Follow GreenUps updates on twitter. The GreenUps on the International Green Drinks: See you at GreenUps!