Inspire Speakers Series

Founded in 2012 by Green Building Alliance, the Inspire Speakers Series proposes a new vision for the city, one based on inclusive dialogue and shared prosperity. In its 8th season, the series has welcomed over 100 national thought leaders to discuss topics including public art, placemaking, and equitable development. Series highlights include Paul Hawken, Joel Glansberg, Toni Griffin, and Candy Chang.

Upcoming Events:


Join GBA and the Office of Public Art for Inspire Speakers Series: Art, Activism and Environmental Health!

In partnership with the Office for Public Art, Inspire Speakers Series welcomes world-renowned artist Mel Chin and Pittsburgh based Ginger Brooks Takahashi to discuss the role of art in activism and environmental health. Working in public advocacy can seem contrary to artists’ individual identities, but our speakers will discuss how creative originality can respond to the needs of greater society. Mel Chin will present his continuing history of public projects including his historic Revival Field, the persistent engagement of Fundred Project, and bringing the poignant message of a Greenlandic subsistence hunter to Paris in L’Arctique est Paris. He will also discuss the importance of public access in the TWO ME installation and a new green community instigation: Frontier of the Future for the 5th Ward of Houston Texas. Ginger Brooks Takashi will add her practice of socially enraged art, elucidating her work in Greater Pittsburgh and beyond. Register here.

About Mel Chin

Mel Chin is a Houston born artist known for collaborative works that conjoin cross-cultural aesthetics with complex ideas. Chin insinuates art into unlikely places, including destroyed homes, toxic landfills, and even popular television, investigating how art can provoke greater social awareness and responsibility. He developed Revival Field (1989-ongoing), a pioneering project in green remediation, using plants to remove toxic, heavy metals from the soil. Chin also promotes “works of art” that benefit science more broadly, as in the recent Operation Paydirt/Fundred Dollar Bill Project, an attempt to make New Orleans a lead-safe city. Chin’s work was documented in the popular PBS program Art of the 21st Century, and he has received numerous awards from organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Art Matters, Creative Capital, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

About Ginger Brooks Takashi

Ginger Brooks Takahashi’s collaborative project-based, socially enraged practice is an extension of feminist spaces and queer inquiry, actively building community and nurturing alternative forms of information distribution. She is co-founder of queer and feminist journal LTTR; the MOBILIVRE BOOKMOBILE project; the touring musical act MEN; and General Sisters. She has presented work at the Oakland Museum of California, the Jewish Museum, Tensta Konsthall, the Brooklyn Museum, Museo Tamayo, the New Museum, 2009, and the Serpentine Gallery. She received her BA from Oberlin College and attended the Whitney Independent Study Program in 2007.

Series Sponsors:


Partners and Funders:

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Caroline Fredricka Holdship Charitable Trust
PNC Charitable Trusts

Media Sponsors:



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Get in on the conversation!

  • Volunteer to write a guest blog on “What I Learned at the Inspire Speakers Series” here.

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  • Learn more about the series and our past presenters on our Inspire Speakers Series website!